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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  January 27, 2013 2:00pm-6:00pm EST

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president clinton is remembered for a number ofhings, but one of the things is if he -- he challenged the conventional thinkingn his ownarty to al with welfare reform. it wouldn't have hpened if he hadn't done it. it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't done it. because a republican couldn't have made the argument. a president's job, according to george readie, the press secretary to lyndon johnson is three things -- one is to see an urgent need, one is to develop a strategy to meet an urgent need and e third is to persuade at least half the people that he is right. president nixon in the early 1960's went to china. that seems like ancient history but that wastraight against the core of the republican party at that time. that was something that was inconceivable for a republican president to do, given the history of mainland china and
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taiwan, as they were both -- as they were both called. so there have been many times in our history when presidents have had to do the hard work. esident george h.w. bush made a budget agreent for which he -- may have caused him to lose the election in 1992 because it angered a number of republicans, but it also helped balance the budget and gave us a period of time in the 1990's when that agreement plus a good economy gave us an actual surplus of funding. sense that there is at the white house a feeling, two things that i would like to disabuse the white house of. thfirst is tt the budget problem isn't a real problem. i can't believe that people at the white house think that. i mean, everybody knows it is. senator mcconnell gave a very good explanation of what was going -- what was going on there, but let me say it this
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way -- in 2025, according to the congressional budget office, every dollar of taxes we collect will go to pay for medicare, medicaid, social security and interest on the debt, and there is nothing left for national defense, national laboratories, pell grants for education, highways, every other thing, the investments that we need to make in research to grow this country, it all gs for medicare, medicare, social security and the debt. every single penny we collect, and that's only 12 years away. now, that's not me talking. that's the congressional budget office saying that. the medicare trustees have told us, the medicare trustees have said that in 12 years, the medicare program won't have enough money to pay its bills. now, whose bills? bills of seniors, bills of tennesseans who have been -- who are some, many are literal counting the days until they are
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old enough to be eligible for medicare so they can have some way to pay their medical bills. it would be a tragedy if that day arrived and there wasn't enough money to pay the bills, but the medicare trustees who by law are supposed to tell us these things say that day will come in 2024. it's just 12 years, just 12 years away. and that's a day for people already on medicare and people who are going to be on medicare. medicaid, which is a program for lower income americans. it's an important program. as governor, i dealt with it in my state, but when i was governor, it was 8% of the state budget. today it's 26% of the state budget. it's soaking up every dollar or almost every dollar that would go to higher education. as a result, students around the country are wondering well, why are my tuition fees going up? it's because of washington's
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medicaid program requiring states to make decisions that soak uponey that otherwise would go for colleges and universities. in our state of tennessee, 30 years ago, the state paid 70% of the cost of going to the university of tennessee. today it pays 30%, and medicaid is the chief culprit. now, everyone knows this. i mean, the president's own debt commission has told him this and suggested a way to deal with it. 40 or 50 of us on both sides of the aisle have been working together, meeting together and having dinner together, writing bills together trying to come up with plans to do it. senator corker, my colleague from tennessee, has developed a bill which i am his prime cosponsor which says over the next ten years we have found a way to strengthen medicare and other entitlements by reducing the growth in spending. we understand this. we passed a budget control act a
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couple of years ago. people said they didn't like it. well, it wasn't so bad because it took 38%, 39% of the budget, which is all of our discretionary spending. this is national defense, national parks, national labs. it's going up about the re of the -- of inflation. this is before we get to the so-called sequester. but what about the rest of the budget? that's the automatic stuff we don't even vote on. medicare entitlements, all this. it's going up at three or four times the rate of inflation. it's going to bankrupt the program. seniors won't be able to have their medical bills paid and the country will be bankrupt. that's no overstatement. former comptroller of the currency says that. president clinton says this is an urgent problem. the chairman of the joint military -- chaian of the joint chiefs of staffs says it's our number one national defense issue. so why are we dealing with it? i think we are not dealing with it, a, because it's hard to do. b, becausen both sides of the aisle we have not been effective
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dealing with this before. i remember when we had an all-republican cast of aracters here inown. president bush, a republican majority here, there must have been 55 of us, we tried to reduce the growth of medicare over five years from 54% to 51% --o 41% and couldn't do it. now, no one is cutting anything. we're saying we're going to reduce the growth of medicare spending from 44% to 41% over five years, and we couldn't get the voteso do that. so this isn't -- this isn't -- this isn't easy to do. robert mary who wrote a book about president polk had lunch with us the other day and made this statement. in america's history, every crisis has been solved by presidential leadership or not at all. every crisis has been solved by presidential leadership or not at all, whether it was lincoln in the civil war or reagan and tip o'neill and unemployment compensation to china or clinton to welfare reform.
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we can all identify the crises. but it takes presidential leadership to do it. takes it to do it. i was a governor, which is much smaller potatoes. if i had sat around waiting for the state legislature with all respect to come up with a road program, we would still be driving on dirt roads. they were waiting for me to do . they were waiting for the governor to do it. that's how our system works. so i -- i wonder if the president thinks that, a, it's not a problem. i can't imagine that anybody at thwhite house thinks that. this is -- this is -- this is a problem of the president -- if the president does not address it during his two terms, he will be remembered in history as failing to do that. his legacy may be a failure to address financial matters that put this country on a road for baruptcy. or if he were to do it, if he were to provide the leadership, he would be, as the australian foreign minister has said,
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america is one budget agreement away from reasserting its global preeminence. why wouldn't president obama want to be known as the president who caused america to reassert its global preeminence by dealing with a budget agreement in the first three months of his second term, and then he can get on to his agenda about which we can argue. but we have to do this. sohat leaves me with only one thought. he must think we don't want to do it. well, we do want to do it. it's a misunderstanding if he thinks that. i mean, i know the republican leader is a -- he wouldn't mind me saying, is a wylie, -- wylie, clever tactician who knows the senate as well as everyone here. but if you look carefully, when we got down to the last few days of the year and needed an agreement on taxes, the republican leader was in the middle of the agreement. and when we got down to the end of the middle of last sumr and
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we needed an agreement to try to avoid default on the debt, the republican leader was the one who was in the middle of doing that. and it was before that. so i think if the white house thinks that the republican leader or we on the republican side do not want to fix the debt, they are badly misundstanding where we are and who we are. i don't know how we can say it more clearly. we have written bills that do it. we have held dinners to talk about it. we have made public statements with democrats, 30 or 40 of us at a time saying we support simpson-bowles or we support domenici-rivlin or we support this or we support that. what's missing? two years. presidential leadership. this is not a partisan comment. it just doesn't work unless the president lays out his plan. now, some say well, the president doesn't want to lay
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out his plan. well, he has to lay out his plan. he's the president. we're just legislators. senator corker and iave put out our plan. who pays attention to that? trillion dollars in reductions and a trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling. it's out there. that's not going to work. but with president obama, with his skills, if he calls together simpson and bowles or his advisors and says here is my plan to save medicare, here is my plan to save medicaid, here is my plan to fix the debt, i want bipartisan support to do that, he will get it. now, at first because it's a difficult issue, everybody will say oh, no, we can't do it that way, and then we'll sit dn and talk and we'll come up with a result. and i think the republican leader has shown that he is prepared and willing to do that. he has said it. he's done it on other issues. i don't know what else the rest of us can do to show -- to show that, so what i am trying to
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respectfully say today, as much as anything, to the president of the united states, is congratulations on your inauguration. i was there. i was proud to participate in it for a chance to say for a minute and a half why we celebrate for the 57th time the inauguration of an american president, we celebrate it because our country is distinguished from most of the other countries in the world by the peaceful transition or reaffirmation of the largest amount of power in the world. we have our political contests and then we have the restraint to respect theesults. but having won, having won the election, it's important first to get the fiscal house in order. the time to do it is while we have divided government. the time to do it is while the president is at the peak of his popularity. the time to do it is while the house of representatives, the republican house has created a window of two or three months to deal with all the fiscal issues.
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and the time to do it is after two years of discussion of republicans and democrats in a bipartisan way about the need to fix the debt and the importance of it for the country. so my hope is that as the president and his advisors look at the united states senate, they see, number one, a willingness to solve a problem of fixing the debt in a bipartisan way. i get the feeling they don't believe that about us. i don't know what else we can do to cause them to believe that. there is not the same kind of comfortable relationship back and forth that there should be. i've heard some people say well, the johnson-dirksen days, that was ancient history. that is ancient history. that was a long time ago. but madam president, human nature doesn't change. human nature doesn't change. not in 50 years, not in 100
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years, not in 500 years. and there is plenty of goodwill here across the aisle, on this side of the aisle, at the beginning of this term, to work with a newly inaugurated president to say mr. president, we're ready to fix the debt, provide us the leadership, no great crisis is ever solved without presidential leadership in the united states, and you're the president, you're the only one who can lay out the plan. then we'll consider it, we'll amend it, we'll argue about it, we'll change it and we'll pass it. and then we can get on to the president's agenda about which we'll have a difference of opinion. but he will go down in history as the man who was willing to do something hard, hard within his own party, which was to fix the debt and se the programs that seniors depend upon to pay their medical bills. so i hope i can say that as someone in the spirit who
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participated in the inauguration, aires the president's considerable abilities. i hope he and his advisors stop and take another look and say maybe we were wrong. maybe this is the time to do it. maybe we're the only ones who n do it, so let's have -- let's make a proposal and let's get started. i thank the president. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> the senate will be back tomorrow. live coverage when the senate returns on c-span2. also this week, a vote on the new confirmation of john kerry to begin next secretary of state. next, chuck hagel before the senate armed services committee. that begins thursday at 9:30 am eastern of c-span.
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>> the first ladies that i am drawn to are the ones on the ground floor, the modern-day first lady that i can identify with the war, eleanor roosevelt, jackie kennedy. they are the women whose stories deal close enough to connect with. many of the women in the higher floors, on the state floor, they seem like characters from a wonderful story because it was such a long time ago. its history and your read about it. to be in their presence seems disconnecting. the first lady's on the ground floor are the ones that i remember. are remember the real stories and i can picture their lives in an incredible way that makes me think about their challenges,
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struggles, and how they used the space. >> "the first lady's," teaming up with the white house historical association of . airing over two seasons. the season 1 beginning president's day at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio, an online. >> on wednesday, and house democratic task force held a second meeting and reducing gun violence. they talked about improving the background checks and the state of mental health testing note from students. they heard testimony from a former agent with the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. this is just under two hours. >> we are going the have a vote series that delayed us just a
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bit, but thank you for hanging with us on this. many things to the witnesses here today. we have a great lineup of individuals who will be able to share some of information with us that i believe is critical for our deliberation and for our efforts to figure out what we can do to minimize gun violence. i also wanted to take a point of personal privilege to recognize the president of the california state senate, thank you for being here. thanks to all of the task force members that are here and the vice chairs who have taken lot of their time to make sure that we have a good and product in all of this. it is very much appreciated. i just want to start all this by
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saying that i am a hunter, a gun owner. i'm not going to ask other law- abiding gun owners to give up their arms. this is something i believe in after the supreme court ruled on the holler decision. it was off the table. they ruled law-abiding citizens have a right to of firearms. i do not want that discussion in respect of what side of the issue you are wrong and should not get in the way of the work that we are doing. as a father and a grandfather, i also believe we have a responsibility to make our schools, streets, communities safe places. i know from the bottom of my heart that we can do both of these. i know that we are going to. as chair of the gun violence prevention task force, i'm working with my colleagues, many of whom are here today, to
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develop a comprehensive set of policy proposals to reduce gun violence and respect the second amendment. i have met with virtually everyone imaginable. democrats, republicans, in an safety groups, mental health experts, education leaders, law enforcement, the film industry, video game industry, hunting in sportsmen groups. the vice president and his task force. one thing is clear. it is a very complex issue. in order to make any meaningful process, it's going to take a complex and comprehensive solution. every idea needs to be on the table and i believe that everyone needs to be at the table. at the table today, we have law enforcement officials, hunters, health leaders. i think this will be very meaningful step in our efforts. thank you all for coming to
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offer your and valuable input on this discussion. remember. as we move forward, it's not a choice between protecting the second amendment and reducing gun violence. it's about the willingness of the responsible majority to do both and working together, i know we will be able to do that. i would like to recognize some people who are here also with us today who were present in tucson on the day that our friend and colleague gabrielle giffords was wounded. is nancy here? nancy bowman. patricia? pann and bruce simon. thank you very much for being here. i will call on some of my colleagues to introduce the witnesses here today and we will start with the dean of the house of representatives, a good
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friend and member, congressman dingell. >> i commend you for your hard and diligent labors on behalf of this matter. i now have the pleasure to introduce mr. gaspar perricone from the yobull moose sportsme's alliance. i am a native of the colorado. >> yay. >> his roots in farming, ranching, and outfitting led him to have a strong respect protection of their art or heritage. in 2007, he founded the heritage corridor consulting group to protect outdoorsman interests. he served as westerns look director for senator mark udall
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natural resource policy. he is currently the director of bull moose sportsman alliance dedicated to the heritage, traditions, and opportunities for sportsmen and women. he also serves as a sportsman out federal representative to colorado parks and wildlife laws well as representing to the great outdoors. we thank you for your courtesy and kindness in appearing before the task force today. i look forward to hearing your testimony. what some might ask that all of the witnesses be introduced and then we will begin with testimony. next, congresswoman deborah wasserman shultz to introduce james cummings. >> thank you for dealing with
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this important and critical hearing for a topic that is critical for us to come to gather on. we suffered a heart wrenching tragedy next month. the 26 innocent victims including 20 children lost their lives to senseless, some violence. this is only symptomatic of a larger a gun and violence problem were 10 million -- tend thousand lives are lost every year. i think i speak for my constituents and probably most americans in saying we must find a common-sense ways to move forward. as president barack obama said in his inaugural address, margarine is not complete until all the children know that they're cared for, cherished, and safe from harm. one american joining us today is jim cummings, out a gun owner and nra owner. i have known him for more than
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20 years. he is a highly successful commercial contractor. the literally built many of these schools and universities in south florida today. jim has simply been a pillar of the community. he has become an influential voice in have been widely involved in many educational and other organizations. have builds community centers that now costs including several boys and girls clubs. it's no surprise that he has received recognition of borders long history of community service including being inducted into the on to bernard hall of fame. he is also a gun owner of over 150 guns. as an avid hunter who has haunted all over the world and a lifetime member of the nra. he and i have not always agreed on gun-control issues of the
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day and on a number of other issues as well, but i have a deep respect for his point of view and for his commitment to making the world a better place. he said in an incredibly thoughtful email sharing his perspective are much tragedy and the steps he felt should be taken. most importantly, we agree there are many common sense. we can and must do now and i'm pleased to agree to come to washington today to discuss how we can move forward. thank you, jim. >> next, congressman scott will introduce dr. robert ross. >> i want to thank you and other task force members for your strong support of and participation in the of the violence prevention summit. this has been proven to reduce violence and provided insight into some good sounding slogans that would be counterproductive to our efforts.
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we were told by seven witnesses the how and why comprehensive evidence-based strategies provided with other aspects are basically a public health approach to reduce violence and crime that's a much more money and avoid social welfare expenditures. it is this approach taken which is several of our speakers commended as a legislative strategy. with that background, it's my pleasure to introduce one of our speakers today, dr. ross. he is a pediatrician also has an extensive background in philanthropy and public health. he received an undergraduate and master's in public administration and a medical degree from the university of pennsylvania. he has been the president and chief executive officer of the california endowment, the 15th
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largest foundation in the country. the foundation launched a 10- year $1 billion effort to help communities across california to take action by improving neighborhood safety, education and, housing, access the healthy to them more. his vision as a country where the odds for success for all children are maximized and he understands exposure to violence as one of the top barriers to well-being and success. you the author of a number articles regarding the need to protect children including his piece in "the huffington post" on why we need to focus on a child of a long-term prosperity. as research for the insert is -- the answers, we could not have a more informed,
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accomplished, and dedicated spokesperson on our efforts to address these concerns. during republic health perspective, a pediatrician and, a philanthropist, a professor, and author, dr. ross. barber,ext, congressman who was wounded in tucson will introduce jeannie campbell. clucks think you for acknowledging my friends from tucson. i just like to add a word or two if i might and that is to say a little bit about this. we were both the staff for congresswoman giffords. this is obviously a great advocate for change. down the line from her is nancy, and nurse who just happen to be here that day and they came to our aid. had they not done so, others could have died.
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and lastly, the woman who i believe stopped additional wounds and injuries. i call her a hero. she says not to call her that, but she is a woman of action vichy grab that expended magazine and prevented the shooter from reloading. otherwise, many more people could have died that day. i'm a strong supporter of the second amendment and i believe that it should not be about trying to take away guns from as possible gun owners, but we have to do something after what happened in tucson and all the other tragedies including the terrible tragedy in newton. we have to do something. we have no right to be here unless we do something. i'm confident from your leadership, we have not only but we will continue to hear from so many wonderful voices. we've heard from people in favor of change, opposed to change,
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and all in between. i appreciate the opportunity to be on the panel this afternoon. as a survivor of a mass shooting in tucson, amps committed -- i am committed. i am unwaveringly my commitment to press for legislation. we did not know the shootings we have seen in the last few years have a nexus of two importunate issues or problems. people with serious mental health illnesses and the availability to them of weapons that can kill and wound many people in a short time. in the tucson shooting, 33 bullets were discharged in less than 20 seconds and 19 people went down, six of whom died. the ninth was a child, the age of my grandson. i am proud today to introduce a
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witness who's going to talk to us about one issue that i think is critical, mental health services. i introduced a bill last week, the mental health first aid act. it will help train educators, teachers, administrators, students, and first responders in how to identify and respond to signs of mental illness. i'm very pleased to introduce jeannie campbell. she is the chief operating officer of the national council on behavioral health. the national council for behavioral health is the leading addiction organization. the national council has helped to secure the passage of the federal mental health and addiction all in expanded financing for behavioral health and primary care services. ms. campbell helped introduce mental health first aid and has
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led the national council in training nearly 100,000 citizens on the program. 1400 people in my district alone have been trained and program is a huge success. the 22-year veteran of the navy, she also leads civilian initiatives to improve mental health and addiction treatment services for veterans and pioneered training civilian health care providers to better care for veterans. thank you for your service, ms. campbell, and for being with us this afternoon. i look forward to your testimony. >> next, congressman holtz will introduce the next. >> think you for inviting the witnesses and convening this hearing. but in one year, 100,000 people are shot by guns, need to ask questions. not all result in deaths.
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not all are murders. only relatively few are mass murderers. some are an accident, some are suicide. there are personal, family, and societal tragedies in those numbers. within the rights of gun ownership, we must ask the hard questions to find a way to reduce the number of tragedies here. someone who can help us get through the details of this is special agent david chipman, a 25-year veteran from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. he served in a supervisory role in the atf in detroit and launched one of the bridge project safe neighborhoods to focus on preventing gun violence. he led the etf national fire arms division here in washington where he developed the violent crime impact team to prevent
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homicides with guns in targeted u.s. cities. he was honored with the attorney general's award for outstanding contributions to community partnerships for public safety for his efforts in those programs. special agent chipman has seen it all when it comes to violent crime. to gun related crimes in cities and communities in which he has worked. i looked at his prepared testimony and let me simply say that if we want to reduce gun violence, we should pay real close attention to his recommendations. the as recommendations on high- capacity magazines, a criminal background checks, irresponsible dealers, the leadership of the atf. he knows what he's talking about. i'm delighted to present to you mr. david chipman.
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>> congressman miller will introduce marc leforestier. >> it is my pleasure to introduce to you marc leforestier from the california department of justice. we will give new to the committee today. he joined the california attorney general in 2000. he represented other state officials on the negotiation of ending gaming contacts. he has contacts in all levels of the court. he became director of the office of legislative affairs with regards ability for the giver is interested in california state legislature. he has recently worked are in foreclosure build operations. mr. leforestier are currently working in the california
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department of justice bureau of firearms is possible for divorce and firearm laws in california and the legislature of which is considering to reform legislation to reduce fire arms violence. he has received the attorney general award of excellence and he served as the associate for these agreements were project. he is a graduate of case western reserve school of law in cleveland. we welcome you to the committee and we look forward to your testimony. you start with a wonderful statement which is, calif.'s fire are background check is comprehensive. thanks for that. >> thank you, witnesses, for being here. we're going to start with gaspar. recognized for your opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank congressman dingell for the introduction. it's worth noting that the wildlife and sport fish program
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is recognizing and 75th anniversary this year and i think we can all commend you and your leadership and sportsmen and the conservation industry. we would all be well served to have more individual like you leading the charge. my name is gaspar perricone and 90 co-founder of the bull moose sportsman alliance. -- and i am the co-founder. president roosevelt understood the passion of oregon's needed to be equally matched by the passion for conservation. we're dedicated to advocate policies important disports men and women and we work to ensure the opportunities we've enjoyed today will be cherished by our children and their children. i'm here today of a the president of the alliance and as
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a representative of the community, but more prominently as a concerned american citizen. the senseless tragedies in newton, aurora, and in between require sportsmen to step up and abroad as a paid in the dialogue taking place around us. -- to step up and take part in the dialogue. , we encourage them to join the national discussion and help identify policies to keep our children say while assuring the it sporting heritage and second amendment rights we enjoy will continue into the future. i believe both can be achieved. when it comes to protecting our children, there is no greater matter of national security. the violent events cannot be suppressed for certain freedoms and we cannot hold the second amendment solely accountable. any ideas to prevent mass shootings should be reviewed.
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but we have a history responsible gun ownership and ethical conduct in the field. coming from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, we provide a bridge forhe nation's serarches resolution. we have been viewed as enablers of gun violence. as a result, we have withdrawn and from the debate. we understand the conservative view of our second amendment right. sportsmen take a lot of time and they know how to handle firearms. we are upset when the misuse of firearms occurred. at the same time we are sons and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren. events like aura must be prevented. there are a multitude of cause
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and their problems that will require a multitude of solutions and efforts and we must make a concerted effort to address each appropriately in a research. keeping the fire arms out of the hands of dangerous individuals must become a national priority and we must consider additional policy to further ensure individuals who are unfit are unable to obtain them in the first place. we should start by making sure all records of dangerous individuals are entered into the criminal background check system including mental health, adjudication records, restraining orders. it seems to make good sense to extend the back row requirement with a reasonable exemptions. such a program must be a offered through an easy online application process and it cannot be used by any type but it should incorporate additional fire arms sales into the same background check program that exists for
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commercial dealers. the exemption should be offered for family to family transaction. if my father hands a gun to me for an inheritance of the well as temporary sporting in self- defense purposes. individuals in rural areas and those with special firearm licenses already, like a concealed carry permit, should also be exempt from the program. however, fixing and strengthening this must be among the high priorities in order to help further prevent the illegal sale of firearms as well as impairing their ability to get them in the first place. must explore programs to promote positive gun ownership. we incorporate mental-health adjudication records but also must make sure we have the necessary mental health services to those who need them on the front end. i understand there is a
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population of americans whose every experience with a gun has been about one. there are also people like me is every experience with a gun has been positive. some of my fondest memories are in the field with family and friends. i hope the inclusion of at least word willman's provide an honest discussion on ways to protect our children mile also preserving the rights of recreational shooters. i will be the first to admit that i don't have all the answers to the complex problems we are discussing here today and in the end, and may not agree with all of the policy offered. we cannot be afraid of have the discussion. it is long overdue. i think we are all here in good faith and we would like to be a part of the solution and find ways to assure our children enjoyed a saber society. the sportsmen must help lead our nation forward on a safer path
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while continuing to uphold the hunting tradition to be learned from our parents and grandparents. thank you. >> mr. cummings. >> that was an excellent presentation. i'm glad to see someone agrees very much with me. having said that, i am here as a sportsman, hunter, and collector of guns. i have hunted all over the world all my life. i enjoy the benefits afforded to me by the second amendment and i hope, as the panel deliberates, they will be able to differentiate between a hunter using a fire arm and assault weapons. it would be unfortunate if hunters and sportsmen were painted with the same brush of those who would do harm using an assault weapon. i am here to bring reason to the discussion that is both polarizing and emotional. some organizations and political bodies may be using this to further their own agendas which
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do not seem to be in support of the hunters and sportsmen. i believe intelligent people well versed in the facts, which there are many diverging facts, should be able to have a reasonable dialogue in order to find common ground to resolve problems. some of the problems that stand out are the universal background checks, detachable high-capacity magazines, armor-piercing bullets, mental health funding, mental health reporting, media impact, assault rifles, and the fact that there are various facts out there. i hope i will be able to expand on these issues. gun violence demands we discuss all aspects they're not just the garden. i look for giving my opinion as well as a hearing other's opinions. my hope is that the end, this task force will make recommendations that are not only practical and enforceable
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but also properly funded. thank you for the opportunity to be here. >> the position paper in my folder that was submitted by eudoxus >> possibly? -- by you? >> possibly? [laughter] >> thank you. dr. ross. >> members of the task force, thank you for inviting us to be a part of this national discourse and conversation. thank you for the very kind introduction. i want to send that to my mother. [laughter] this unspeakable tragedy that compels us to be here today, i am really quite pleased, mr. chairman, that i'm hearing proponents and defenders of the second amendment talk about the importance of mental health
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services and mental health programs. it warms my heart as a pediatrician and a public health official. this unspeakable tragedy is clearly preventable. i like to spend my few minutes talking about the prevention strategy and approach and what would underline that prevention strategy. before i begin my testimony formally, i would like to turn to the video. we have a video clip with 33 young people across the state of california we support in our building help the community's initiative from communities like south-central los angeles from east oakland, cut cello. they wanna the opportunity -- coachella. have they wanted the opportunity to have their voices heard in the conversation about school safety and might would like to share this short clip. if you could keep up that video,
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it would be great. >> of fresno. >> sell the net. -- salina. >> my brothers and sisters are afraid to play outside. >> no more violence, not in my classroom. >> not on my street corner. >> two out of three kids of violence last year. >> every day, 14 kids are murdered. >> 14. >> 14. >> 40 and every day. but the mandate plan. counselors, mentors, give me support. >> don't just kick me out of school. >> don't walk down our schools. what's more guns are not the answer. what the mandate plan, a real plan. >> it's tough for the leaders to take action. >> for newton, and for us. >> enough. >> enough. >> thank you.
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that video can be found on youtube. it currently has 1.4 million viewers. i don't want to make sure the voice of this young people were hurt today. the message i want to underscore echoes the sentiment. we want to bring better security on campuses and these are critical pieces of the puzzle, but alone they are not enough to keep our schools and communities safe. throughout the help the community initiative, we have talked to 20,000 people in the first step that they mention is violence. we must have violence-free communities, places where families can walk to school, a gross restore, a park, a place of worship without fear. prevention is the key. i serve as a practicing pediatrician in a former life, but you do not need to be a doctor to know that an ounce of prevention is worth more than the cure. stop the violence before it begins. the key is understanding who is
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attached to the fingers that all the troubles in these -- pulled the triggers. we have a disengaged, it does him -- disempowered young peop le. who all of the first place mental health issues are first spotted. communities like columbine, or aurora, newtown, this shows up as a senseless mass shooting, but in neighborhoods like compton, chicago, detroit, north philadelphia, this crisis along with substance abuse, drive-by shootings, high school dropouts. the problem with this connected young people will reveal oneself and continue to haunt our civic life. i may want to mention that in richmond, calif., which have had a significant violence problem,
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representative miller would certainly be proud. we talked about it earlier today, but they have nearly cut their homicide rate in half by focusing on these community- based approaches and partnerships between community leaders. this is why every school should offer access to comprehensive health services for nurses and other experts to diagnose problems, whether medical or physical -- whether mental or physical. every student should get a behavioral health check up just like they get a physical checkup before starting the school year. school counselors have to be part of the solution. we have one counsellor for every 1000 students, among the worst in the nation and one fourth of the recommended standard of one counselor per 250. the best counselor in the world cannot keep tabs on 1000 students. we cannot expect them to.
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a recent report from the united states department of justice found nearly 60% of kids for a leak -- personally seen or experienced violence. we can understand how these traumatic experiences affect the development of young minds. unfortunately, over the past few years, california has sharply reduced mental health services as a result of the recession and the economic downturn. according to the national alliance of mental health records, $4.30 billion in a local mental health service cuts in community-based programs have occurred since the recession between 2009-2012. more people need help and it's less available. it's a recipe for disaster. i am encouraged that they're thinking broadly about school safety. public school safety officials,
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criminologists, public health experts, they all agree that prevention must be a part of the equation. we must figure out ways to stop these attacks before the government shows up in the parking lot. in closing, mr. chairman, as you continue to work on the problem. i appreciate your piece in "the wall street journal" yesterday highlighting mental health issues and sensible gun policies. an expansion of mental health services coverage strengthening and expanding and school counseling services and a resource officers, and promoting and supporting in nurturing school environment, not one that is punitive. we must stop suspending kids out of school. we rarely saw kids get suspended. we rarely saw a kid get expelled and now it is a common phenomenon. we need to keep our arms around
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these kids so they are in our communities. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i may have to leave a little early to catch a flight back, but thank you for having me. >> ms. campbell. >> thank you for inviting me to speak at today's hearing. i'm proud to work for the national council for behavioral health, a national membership organization representing more than 2000 organizations that provide mental health and addiction treatment in almost every community. they provide services to more than 8 million children, adults, and family. today, a one to cover three. -- existing federal reporting law, the ongoing need for improved treatment among veterans, and the need for better public education about the nature of mental health and addiction. our members and board come from every corner of the country and
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have a diverse opinions regarding firearms and the topic of gun-control. we respect that diversity. there has been much discussion about existing federal law about reporting the names of individuals and eligible -- ineligible to own a gun due to being voluntarily committed. person living with mental, as are much more likely to be victims and perpetrators. he also called attention to the need to have a more access to health care. the administration says one in five americans will experience a mental health condition during any given year. one in five. we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. we ignore our role as responsible community members. a particular concern to me as a
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veteran is the obligation that our nation owes our veterans who deserve the mental health services they need to support their incredible resilience to move towards a recovery. nearly 30% of our returning veterans will have a mental illness requiring treatment. they could have major depression, ptsd, or both. this is present in almost every community. the numbers are much greater than we originally thought and we will reverberate through the health-care system is four years to come. finally, i would like to tell the committee about a program called mental health first-aid. it we believe in educating communities about mental health. you may know mental health disorders often began manifesting as early as 14 years of age. according to the american
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psychiatric organization, the first obvious signs occur between 18-24. on average, it takes eight years of the treatment. from the time treatment begins, the cost of medicare -- mental health care services are higher and effectiveness is reduced. that is why we are excited about mental health first aid, early intervention and early detection and implemented run the enough to help millions of our citizens in psychiatric distress. this to be similar to first-aid training by the red cross. this is key to the public health approach. mental health first-aid training has been offered to police officers and other first responders from rhode island, denver, dormitory staff in colleges across the country and local ymca's.
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in the aftermath of zande put elementary, there has been an outpouring of bipartisan support for improving the mental health care system in this nation. the common policy thread running through all of these proposals all indoors at early detection of mental illness. mental health first aid could help from a prevention standpoint and it is that that's what the program does. it permits us to intervene early and say these individuals in desperate need. last week, representative barbara introduced h.r. 274. in a recent letter to vice- president biden, he wrote the following. "i urge you to support a bipartisan proposals like the mental first aid act. we paid too high a price for
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this neglect." every day, we see the effects of our decades-long neglect. i urge you to take the advantage of this opportunity to make a long overdue investments in mental-health to make all americans live longer, more filled lives. thank you for the opportunity to speak. >> mr. chipman. >> thank you for allowing me to speak today. i retired from atf as a special agent following 25 years of public service. as a federal agent, i have been called many things. recently "time" magazine called us and gunfighters. although i carried a fire arm every day for 25 years, and never once considered myself a gunfighter. i was a crime fighter. hollywood has glamorized it. i was not an actor. i was a cop. i served in many roles, however
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my mission was clear. it was my job to prevent violent crime. when i arrested criminals, i knew i was preventing crime and making a difference. when i was responsible for solving crimes that had already occurred, like a failure. i would like to a knowledge the first responders who did what they could at sandy hook elementary. i was called to respond to the bombing of the federal building in oklahoma city. i spent one month investigating that senseless attack that culminated in the death of 160 americans and 19 children under the age of six. i was never the same. it is likely that the victims and survivors from newton will never be the same. do not forget the first responders. they need your help. today, we have a choice. we can maintain the status quo by putting our faith in gunfighters, the good guy we
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hope will prevail over the bad guy with a gunman, or we remove the obstacles that challenge our crime fighters from preventing them from ever getting a gun in the first place. people who sell guns and encourage you to place your faith in the gunfighters. this is not surprising. the fact that you can work as a fire arm without pausing a criminal background check is a flaw so large that it makes many gun laws meaningless and it distorts the fundamental effect
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the best of atf and every police department in the nation. as a crime fighter that wanted to prevent bad guys from getting the guns in the first place, there is nothing as big as this glaring error. we need to repeal the restrictions for the atf and it would allow law-enforcement records of background check approvals and the ability to conduct gun traces is necessary intelligence if our goal is crime-prevention rather than crime suppression. third, congress should take actions in other ways to require gun dealers to perform their duties with increased professionalism. there should be required to perform standard business practices, such as conducting inventory. doing so will allow police to thwart organized fees and determine employee theft.
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reporting the bulk sale of all firearms, including multiple sales of fire -- of assault rifles is a preventive to to massacre congress should consider new legislation that defines firearms trafficking and as seriously as those distributing illegal drugs. these changes would increase federal agents and prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal gun laws. fifth, congress should regulate assault weapons in the identical fashion as firearms already regulated by the national forms that year they present a similar threat to law enforcement and public safety purifiers arms, such as semi-automatic, short- sawed-offifle commercia, shotguns are considered gangster weapons.
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high-capacity magazines in the wrong hands turn a killer into a killing machine. as an atf special agent, the firearms i carried had a magazine that held 15 rounds. it is inconceivable to me that any american would require more rounds in a magazine than especially agent in atf for their personal self-defense theory. -- self-defense. it will take leadership, commitment and resources to respond to the national epidemic of gun violence. although more money and more people rarely solve problems alone, it is important to note the size of a tiff relative to the mission is expected to perform. atf is a federal agency comprised of fewer than 4800 employees. that is 4800 employees. far smaller than a florida brouwer county sheriff's department.
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of the still, fewer than 2500 are special agents handled 800 are inspectors. at the same time, the gun industry is growing. the number of gun sales per 80th investigator, which is over 14,000 -- per atf investigator, which is over 14,000, has nearly doubled since 2003. the agency needs leadership here since august 4, 2006, the agency charged with preventing gun violence in america has been without a confirmed leader. a lot has changed since 2006. atf needs to change. a primary attraction is the failure to nominate a permanent director of during my final months at atf, i've realized the leadership and a reluctance
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to change. more importantly, as a former rain, he inspired followership. in closing, even after 25 years on the street, i find it shocking that 33 americans are killed every day with a gun and already over a thousand gun murders have been committed since newtown last month. my kids deserve better than this. all of our kids deserve better than this. thank you. >> mr. deputy attorney general. >> good afternoon members of the task force. thank you for your work on this important issue and the opportunity before you today. i would like to focus my testimony on a unique program that exists in the apartment in california that is responsible for regulating firearms within the street. it is called the armed
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prohibited persons program and it is intended to disarm people who are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under both federal and california law. it is really a preventive law enforcement program that we believe is critical to enhance and move forward and should be a national model. under california and federal law, there are a number provisions under -- about -- and ever prohibitions for gun ownership. since 1993, under federal law, all gun purchases through a dealer are required to have a criminal background check. the purpose is to identify purchasers who are prohibited and prevent the sale. that is good as far as it goes. but in california, we have taken
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things a few steps further. first, all private party transactions in california subject the purchaser to a criminal background history checked for providers. in addition, unlike most states and the federal government, california retains the records pertaining to the purchase of handguns. that provides us with the data to create the firearms registry. i understand this is very controversial in some quarters, but it is central in our efforts to disarm prohibited persons. that is also something that prevents what is commonly referred to as the gun show exemption. so all private party transactions and original gun sales are submitted to a background check. >> if you could get a little closer to the microphone. >> certainly. coming on line next year in
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january 2014 will be the sales of long guns. so we will be retaining those records as well. the program was developed in response to legislation in 2001 that was sponsored by then attorney general bill lockyer and carried by the representative republican senator and someone who is in line out to be the head of the california republican party. it passed both houses of the state legislature and expressly supported by the nra and the california sports association and others. with the program does is allows the department of justice to reestablish an electronic database that cross references the firearms registry that mentioned earlier with the databases of criminal history records, domestic violence databases as well as mental health records. that allows us to create list of people were both armed and
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prohibited. which is unique in the nation. there is no other state in the nation who is doing this. it allows us to capture people who have purchased weapons and then subsequently become prohibited as a result of a felony arrest or a mental health issue. in 2005, the program went online and we began distributing this data to local law enforcement agencies with the hope that there would be enforcement of the program. it turned out that, because of various law enforcement priorities and that local agencies have, there was not enforcement. so it was the job of the department of justice to create your own enforcement program that started in 2007. by 2010, we had agents devoted to enforcing the program, which meant conducting investigations and going to prohibited persons home and requesting their
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firearms. in 2011, when, harris took office, this became a major focus of attention for her and she sought to double the number of agents. today, we have 33 agents dedicated to this program. but it is still not enough. we have close to 20,000 people on the apps list, a backlog of people we know to be armed and prohibited. the 33 agents that we have dedicated to this work can clear 2500 cases a year. yet every year we have 3000 more cases. so continue to be swimming upstream. one of the attorney general's most important initiatives this year will be to double the agents dedicated to this and forced the effort in the hopes of weaken clear that background -- that backlog in a reasonable time. there is some interest in the relationship between the program and the federal mix.
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all of the raw data used to develop our registry -- our listing of armed prohibit people is available and is uploaded to the national nexis system. next year in july, mental health records went online and now all that data is up with it in real time. that has caused a real uptick in the amount of pervaded -- amount of information that is provided. a registry of some kind for firearms is essential. without a registry, we don't know where the guns are. and then the other piece of that is critical is having that enforcement element and resources dedicated to that because, once you have the list of prohibited to -- prohibit people, someone has to take responsibility for disarming
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people who are the most dangerous in our society. thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you to all the witnesses for your excellent testimony. we begin the questions. i will start with the couple. mr. deputy attorney general, it has been said that california has the strictest gun laws in the country. whenever we talk about gun laws or gun violence prevention, there's always from one corner comes the cry that this is merely an effort to stop people from buying guns. is it true that 600,000 legal gun sales to place in california last year? >> that would not surprise me. that sounds about right. >> so the sick -- so the strict laws in the country have not done anything to diminish
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gunsels. >> no. >> if i could ask you guys -- you both admitted that you are hunters. and i saw in your bio that you have a fisher. you were with some ducks. how many shows you put in your gun when you go down cunnings? >> 3. >> 3? >> 3 is the federal regulation unless you are hunting for waterfowl, in case -- in which case it would be 10. >> so federal law sets a maximum 1 humvee shows you can have in your gun for migratory birds. >> correct. >> 3 shells. >> yes. >> your a game hunter, i am assuming? >> yes. but how many shells deepening your rifle when you go been hunting? >> most of my high-powered
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rifles will not handle more than four shoals. that is probably for the biggest game possible you can shoot. >> thank you. i will call on the ranking members of the judiciary committee. mr. conyers. >> thank you very much, chairman mike thompson. this is our second hearing. it has been a good one. and i am deeply grateful for everybody's comments. i have a number of things -- maybe we can do them all. maybe we cannot. i noticed the president, in his remarks, it seems like he has almost given up negotiating. he is saying here's what we will do and everybody that is with me should get on board.
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but between these simple things , would any of you just a volunteer with you think is the most important accomplishments that those of us who have been through these hearings could accomplish in the 113th congress? a ban semi-automatic assault weapons, require background checks for all gun sales. repeal thart. the ban high commit -- and high capacity ammunition magazines. reduce violent crime in our communities. i just mental health crisis -- and just mental health crisis were 25% more of the population might come under that category. who can comment about any
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particular order in this undertaking that you would like to see us start off with? any volunteers? >> thank you, rep. when you ask a pediatrician or you can pick out of that list, it is predictable what will come out of his or her mouth. certainly, the root causes of violence, if we could have significant and meaningful success at that level, then we would not need to be in this room today discussing other kinds of strategies. i think there are a number of outstanding community-based programs that show that prevention works. certainly, we have seen the
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success of the holland children's zone, getting people who are growing up in impoverished and disadvantaged and distressed communities exposed to violence do well. but the catholic priest who runs the home boy industries program in los angeles has successfully moved young people from the life of gangs and violence and drugs and drug dealing into the work force just by putting his arms around those young people and be leading and a firming in their ability and his that is here is the nothing stops it like a job. finally, in boston, a chicago, as i mentioned in richmond community best efforts, with a partnership with grass-roots leaders and public safety officials and others, we cannot
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arrest our problem -- we cannot arrest their way out of this problem, we need to give them an opportunity and perform the juvenile system like the state of missouri has and make sure the people who get caught up to a life of violence in the juvenile justice system have an opportunity to get their lives back on track. this country is demonstrating through public-private partnerships and pressures leadership amazing ways to make things work. i think our problem is not the -- when we find an answer, we don't have the ability and the will to scale it up to a national solution. and i would submit to you that that is more the problem. >> pretty persuasive. >> i think all of those issues that you mentioned need to be discussed in detail and i hope we have an opportunity to do that here today.
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but one of the things that has not been discussed is that you make these laws -- the 1994 gun law applies only to weapons that were made after the passage. there were 1.5 million assault and 24 million high capacity clips on the market stands. now there are 3 million to 4 million assault rifles and they don't even know how many clips there are. it might be 50 million clips. >> were three times that many. >> my point is this. i also said you need to be able to fund, implement, and also get it through congress. that to me -- how we get something off the market or legislature that should get off the market when you already have 4 million of them already out in the public? that is a big question. i am glad you're here to answer that. >> i am glad you're here to
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press me to get going on this thing, the 113th congress. thank you. >> mr. scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we will do four minutes in the question that includes the answer. so if you keep your answers short. >> thank you. >> you have been working to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. can you discuss some of the initiatives that create that problem? >> yes, very briefly, mr. representative, we studied that the school-to-prison pipeline that are in so many of our committees, there are three points to the superhighway. the first as third grade reading scores. particularly young men,
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particularly young black and brown men in urban communities were not reading of the third grade proficiency, the numbers are up as high as 75 to -- say 5% to 85% of young black and brown boys who are not reading at a third grade proficiency. once they're behind, they never catch up. early third grade reading is critical. the second is the issue of school suspension and chronic absences in school. chronic absences in school, particularly in the early grades and repeated schools of sentience -- schools suspensions is a red flag. there is a tremendous amount of predictive data that, once kids begin a pattern and a rhythm of missing lots of school, and getting suspended from school, they never catch up and the drop out. thirdly, the young people in the juvenile justice system, we have to find a way to turn the system -- making sure that these
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are not thugs in training, but people who have gone off the right path need to get the right kind of services, including mental health services to get them into the right after 70% of the young people in the juvenile justice system have a mental health diagnosis. >> we talk about prevention programs. some programs work in some programs don't. can we tell the difference? >> it is getting better. i think most community-based leaders who offer these programs know that they need data. we need the scientific evidence to show that these programs work. our grants under foundation to go to programs like that unless there is an evaluation component. homeboy industries have data
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performance program. it is promising that these kinds of prevention programs not only work for the young people, but also are cost-effective in terms of taxpayer dollars. >> how do effective prevention programs save money? >> the general rule of thumb for most public health and prevention programs is $2 to $3 return in every dollar invested. in some mental health programs, that rate of return can be as much as six to one. but the evidence is clear that investing in prevention does return the benefit to the taxpayer. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can you share your views were shared with us how your views particularly following the
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newtown tragedy differ from the nra's stated approach? can you tell us what specific things need to be done to address a gun violence? and can you comment on the president's proposal? >> that is a long question. >> i might only get one bite at the apple. >> how my reaction differs from the nra is i have spent probably the last four days over the internet watching videos and getting information on this. and i think the nra's position that it has continuing -- 40% of america has some serve mental deficiency. only 25% of them are prone to
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violent acts. don't you think the gun has any role in this? as a sportsman and hunter, i look at that and i say, well, jeez, i have the list of the 19 guns that were banned by the law in 1994. you have a sawed-off shotgun. you have an uzi. you have clips that will hold 50 rounds. if you want to stop the effectiveness of a killing machine, you have to incapacitate the machine to some degree. the easiest way to do that, if you can i get the a r-15 off the streets, it is to limit the clips. in the column bunching -- not the columbine shooting -- the get the difference shooting, the woman stepped in their -- i heard it was a woman to date --
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the guy was changing clips. it gave her the opportunity to grab the person. if you really -- if you cannot get rid of the assault weapon, at least limit the efficiency of it by limiting the amount of rounds that can come out of it. what was the third part of your question? >> i would like to comment on the president's proposal. if you could, if you recall, the nra came out after the new town tragedy and said that the only solution to a tragedy like this is, if you have a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun. you and i have had some discussions since newtown about some of these things specifically that you think we should absolutely take care >> i give you a good example. look at the shooting in new york's at the empire state --
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the new york at the empire state building. this is a situation where you had a shooter and abroad in swat teams, probably the most qualified people to take out a shooter like this. they shot nine pedestrians. myself, if i carry a gun and i am a victim of violent crime -- and you probably know that i have been robbed and shot and month. if you cannot stop the crime, you have to do everything you can to mitigate the extent of the crime. and i think clips is one way to do it. i have heard this from other views that i have looked at. if a swat team comes in. if you're in a dark theater and there's a guy shooting and you happen to have a gun, would you stand up and point your gun like this while the stock -- while the swat team guy comes in the front door? you will be the first one to be taken down if he doesn't see the
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other guy. in schools, the last thing i would hate to see is my second or third grade teacher carrying a gun. it is not appropriate. first, you have to be able to kill somebody. and you know what? i don't care if you're a trained military personnel, all you have to do is hesitate and you will be dead here so i don't think guns in the workplace or schools is the answer at all. >> some of your written testimony lines up with the present proposal. >> virtually all of it. let me tell you -- some of the few instances that i have where i don't agree necessarily with it, but i could probably be swayed, is the background checks that are required for an individual transfer. i have never sold or given a gun away to anybody that i did not know. should i be required if i sold to gunter three guns to fill out
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a background check? i don't think so. but if you make it available at a gun store and he does it, that is fine. but you have to look at how will you enforce that? if i go to the backyard and sell my gun to a neighbor, who will know? or if you buy one on the internet -- you can go on the internet and by any anyone. you will find anybody who will sell it to you. without a background check. so you have to look at a couple of things. we do, will be enforceable? will it stop crime? are there other issues you need to get passed in legislation that would be more important? not only that coming to look at the jtf form, there is a place for gun shows. you have to fill it -- at the atf for, there is a place for gun shows. you have to fill it out. gun shows look like a flea market. if these guys are not legitimate gun dealers, they sure look like it to me because it does not jim cummings coming in their
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selling one kendrick it is a guy who has a table this big full of clips and guns and ammo you can buy. maybe you ought to say that these people go to gun shows who are selling done apparatuses and guns commercially should be a licensed and qualify firearms dealer and that would get rid of a lot. and the 40% that you have heard -- i do not know if that is right or wrong -- the nra will tell you 10%. that is as good as 40%. i don't know what it is. i don't have to keep track of it. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your testimony. thank you for that. do you think it is necessary or even useful for a hunter like you to have civilian versions of military weapons such as this and does for civilian model -- such as this m-4 civilian model? is there any place for it for
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hunters? >> it is called a civilian model m-4. >> there is a segment sporting hunters that use them for legitimate purposes. while most sportsmen using some other type of weapon, there are also recreational shooters and many of them engaged, myself included, in the use of in a yard-up style rifle from what i said is that i have personally been against the reinforcement of the assault weapons ban. but those who are capable of 200 m.p.h. -- >> i do want to get into the wisdom of the assault rifles banned. i just want to know if this has usefulness as a hundred you think it does. >> yes. >> should the single-point sales
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of multiple magazines or multiple-point sales of magazines be reportable in a national database for tracking system? >> that would certainly be useful to a law-enforcement. but obviously, that would be the humans do you to do that. that is not part of the structure. in fact, many years ago, atf stopped regulating ammunition in itself, which i would think would be a more important for step if we are going into that arena. >> with so many large capacity magazines already in circulation, d.c. place for a buyback program? >> to me, i think that honors the fact that people did follow the law when they bought something. so i think there is a place for that if there is a decision to be made a certain magazines should be banned because their two potentially deadly. >> miss campbell, a lot has been said about keeping guns out of the hands of people who are not able to handle them safely.
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what is the success rate of psychiatrists, psychiatristpsyc, counselors, of someone who is going to commit mass violence? do you have any way of quantifying the false positives, the false negatives? can they find such a person a third of the time, half of the time, 90% of the time? >> not really in terms of percentages. the issue is everyone who works in the field of mental health and addiction treatment is passionate about treating individual, helping that individual and making sure that individual gets the services they truly need. i think it would be difficult to forecast whether someone will go off their medication and become violent. i think it is very difficult.
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presented-wise, i would struggle to find that number for you. >> i would suggest that, in fact, i improved more accessible mental-health treatment might prevent a lot of gun deaths, but you would probably prevent more suicides than mass murders. thank you. >> thank you for being here. this is the second go round of hearings we have had. i can only hope that the congress will be as forceful as we pursue home this mission. what i am trying to do is put myself in the position of a typical parent, the kind of parent and might have been when my two youngsters were in elementary school.
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and i'm looking at this hearing and i am hearing all this policy and it is very important, especially for members of congress. but i want to know one thing as a parent. at then't i should asked next parent-teacher meeting? i think parents are terribly confused. should they asked for armed guards in buildings in the elementary schools? should they asked that the elementary school be more difficult to get in? they say we members of congress will have to come forward with perhaps a dozen different remedies. but for mother x, she knows that there's not much in funding for schools this year and perhaps in
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the years to come. she knows that she would like somebody to have been there if it were her child to somehow protect her child, but she does not know if that is practical. she doesn't know if she would be robbing peter to pay paul if she asks for guns in the schools as opposed to something else in the schools. so i just ask you for a moment -- rather than as a set of questions, i think that, given how thoughtful your testimony has been today, given the fact that you come from different perspectives, i think it would be useful to the average person listening to this testimony not to put themselves in our shoes, but to ask you to put yourselves in their shoes. what should we be doing at my
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elementary school now that this terrific and unprecedented tragedy has occurred and we know it has occurred and we know we must do something? yes, mr. cummings, if you like to begin. >> first, i would not put armed people in schools. >> guards were teachers? >> armed guards and certainly not teachers. i have built hundreds of millions of dollars worth of schools. they differ all across the united states. in many cases, there is more than one entrance. in every school, they have an outdoor entrance. where will you put your arm guard? which end of the school would to like him? there is an estimate of $18 billion to put an armed guard in every school. i don't think that is productive. i tell you what is productive. and it gets back to the mental health situation and the
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counselor situation. you need a safe haven for doctors and counselors because, if a cancer goes and finds out -- my sister-in-law has been a counselor for four years or so. you can tell if there is an inclination any child, just as you have heard from some of the people here, that he will do something possibly a little strange. one kid i heard about road "von" on his desk. one kid i heard about wrote "bomb"on his desk. many deny it to a national database because they are afraid of being sued. my state is particularly one of those. you have to take that away. it does not do any good to have professionals there if there report will not be heard and
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documented and hopefully stops something like this from happening. but dr. ross. >> a superb question, rep. my advice to parents, and putting myself in the position as a parent as well, i agree with mr. cummings. army near schools is not the answer. it is now the young people want and it is not with the parents want. i think the operative question is, as a parent at a school board meeting or a school fet meeting is what are we doing to connect disengaged troubled young people? are we doing all that we can? and one of the things we're all custom to -- a massive shooting happens and the first reaction in the press is that this is completely unforeseen and one surprise. then all of a sudden the reporters and journalists began to interview the people they knew the shooter and it comes up
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that he was troubled. he was a loner. i knew he was a problem. he did not get the kind of help he needed. so the people in the community know who is troubled and who is disengage into is disconnected and who needs help. so it is a schools challenge, but it is a community challenge. it is a community challenge. there are football coach's right now and little league coaches who are connecting with young people. maybe the first time a young person hears an affirmation is from a soccer coach or a football coach or from a minister. i think it is not just about be leaving or pinning the responsibility of the schools. schools have to be part of the solution so -- solution for sure. but everyone of us have to ask that question. what are we doing in our personal lives. mr. cummings, your building schools and helping boys and
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girls clubs. to connect with young people? >> thank you. >> a couple of questions. first of all, having to do with universal background checks, by a understood from your testimony that you favor expanding perhaps universal background checks and we have heard other people say that this should not happen because it is hard to understand why but that is their perspective. can you help us understand the perceived problems with allowing us are requiring us to have background checks on everyone? it seems to me you cannot enforce current law without such a procedure care and we have prohibited class is you can go to a gun show, for example, and buy whatever they want to buy. help us understand come if you
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can, the thinking behind not expanding background checks and what we might do to overcome that problem. >> sure. thank you for the question. let me start by saying this. i think we can all agree that there people in society who should not have guns. from my perspective, the only reasonable far wall to ensure that they don't have the ability to obtain them is the background check. what exactly it looks like will be a matter of discussion moving for. after the columbine shooting in colorado, they discussed closing the gun show loophole. i think when you -- there's obviously some discrepancy over this the statistics, but let's say that 50% of the firearm sales in america are taking place from a commercial dealer. that would mean that they're coming from a commercial dealer
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-- or, i'm sorry, a gun show state that requires a background check at gun shows. and we have 40% the do not do background checks at this time. as a sportsman representing the model of a responsible gun owner in america, understand the value of background checks. i obviously have listed some of the exemptions that they need to be incorporated in the background check system, but i think there are reasonable accommodations and reasonable exceptions and something that we can probably reasonably implement, except from the sportsman community perspective. let me make this point as well. so often, the background check system is deemed through the likes of trying to keep firearms out of the hands of that individuals. i think that ought to be the intent. but mr. cummings also mentioned that there are a lot of individual transactions that
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take place among the sports and community, probably more so than any other community. when i am selling again to another individual, i would love to have the capacity to get online and insure myself that i am not selling a gun to someone who could not pass a background check. i see that as another component of a responsible gun ownership and something that's forssmann would hold very high. >> from march 1994 to the end of 2008, there were 97 million applications for gun transfers or permits. 1.8 million applications were denied. obviously, it does something because 1.8 million were denied. but there are the things it should be done to expand it to ensure that the database is complete for numerous reasons.
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there are many states the don't even follow the guidelines. there are some states, like vermont, that have no guidelines that don't do anything. and then have places like virginia that we will do it for certain guns but not for semi- automatic pistols. we will do for long guns only. so where is the consistency here? if this were consistent and you even just did what you're doing and states would comply with it, you can just imagine what the number might be and how many people might have been detected and not afforded the opportunity to buy a deadly weapon. >> mr. chairman, if i may ask a question. about perhaps legislation pending about banning assault weapons. can you help us understand, from your perspective as a former atf agent, with an assault weapon is. it is my destiny that virtually
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anyone and i can accept an extended magazine turns into -- anyone with a gun that can except an extended magazine turns into an assault weapon. it may have been called a semiautomatic weapon, but the trigger could double fast enough and the magazine was big enough to call it an automatic weapon, so tell us what we should do and what we can do to define what it means to be an assault weapon. >> previously, assault weapons were defined in three separate classes. those that had rifles, designed as a rifle with certain characteristics that made the firm -- the firearm or tactical. there are also assault pistols and also shotguns within that category. at the time of the assault
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weapons ban, what we saw was more the assault pistols, cobra and-11, -- over m-11, and those disappeared from the market prior to the ban. the main concern for law enforcement and the frustration for atf at the time was that the ban had -- with the intent was, to solve this problem, they banned future production, but allowed anything out there in the market to still be lawful, which the unintended consequence was that those became highly valuable. i think gun show activity increased because people wanted to sell the more easily. all i would suggest, if congress does go forward, and as i suggested, an nfa-type regulation, it would be better. make sure that all the guns are
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highly regulated, but not necessarily ban them. just make sure that they are in lawful hands. has a crime fighter, that was always my concern, keeping guns from bad people. >> thank you par. i know you have to leave. you may be excused. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my question involves yes or no answers pair of first of all, thank you and accommodate -- yes or no answers. first of all, thank you and commendations for your fine work. all sides of the discussion will agree that those who are permitted by law from -- who are prevented by law from acquiring a gun should be prevented from firing one. by may 22, the incentive to get
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states to act had not yet been implemented by the united states department of justice here in the state of loads, a big portion of their nix records had a waiver 10%. if a state fails to up load their records, the penalties are a 3% cut in burnside many. please answer the question yes or no. do you believe the doj is currently doing enough to help states to up load their records, yes or no? as a state level official -- >> he wants to know if you mean federal doj? >> yes. >> in terms of functionality and [indiscernible] >> i sure wish you get closer
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to the microphone. >> yes. >> you do believe. >> yes, in terms of inoperability, yes. >> do you believe that the current incentives are enough to propel states to apply records into nix? >> no fear the report also reported that states up loading their records is part of state health privacy laws. is that part of your concern? >> not in california, no. >> have they strengthen any laws for privacy concerns so that markets could be low -- be uploaded? >> no. >> there's also a need to crack down on the so-called straw
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purchasers. this is also a place where we can find common ground. do you think it increased penalties will help address the problem of gun trafficking or as further action needed. >> yes? >> thank you for your courtesy. >> thank you very much. as a representative for newtown walking into this, i appreciate this meeting. can you talk about whether you believe that the current weapons out there pose a risk to first responders as well as crime- fighter's? >> clearly. in new york, we saw in webster this terrific situation where a strong purchase of a gun lead to firefighters being -- a straw
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purchase of a gun lead to firefighters being shot at in responding to a fire. so, yes, clearly. >> you mentioned the you were a responsible gun owner. you also would like to have the ability to perform background checks. can you envision how that might work and what sort of penalties? have you think in the sporting community we should go about thinking about that if that is an option? >> welle, the honest answer is that i think it will ultimately be a tube as how this works. the way i personally envision it and the way i think there is a concern that it will be difficult to enforce. i think the way you create insensate -- incentives is to make sure that it is easily preventable.
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so people can go online and punch and a social security number something to that extent, that would be incorporated to book the state into the database and provide a relatively quick or if not an immediate response to whether or not that individual transaction would be lawful or unlawful that would be the appropriate way to go about it. i also want to specify again that, while i am in favor of expanding background checks above the term of universal probably does not account for the exemptions that we have offered. i think they are very important exemptions to look at moving forward. >> from the sporting world, if the requirement was such as he mentioned, where you pick up the phone or e-mail the two social security numbers and a visit to the date of this, that would not prevent the problem. i am not sure how you would
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enforce it. if you go before a judge, a really convoluted mess to prosecute somebody on. but if you require private donors to transfer again to a family member and then ask them to fill out that full form, i don't think you would enforce it and you would probably create more problems. >> if i could come on my time, i know that in california, we don't want to have the staff to do it in a timely manner the way it exists. it is a huge staffing problem. and the 10-day waiting period, which is often characterized as a isperiod, in many cases -- as period, itoff usually takes that long.
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you have to get a background check. if you and i are both california residents and you want to buy a gun from me, it can be a pain, but you walk down to the gun store and they will hold the gun for 10 days and fill up the paperwork and give them $24 and come in 10 days, if the gun is not stolen and you are not a criminal, you can come back and pick it up. so there is some inconvenience, but it works pretty well. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would like to follow basically on the same point. quite specifically, can you explain how in california -- how does it actually works if someone becomes unqualified? what happens if somebody who was originally approved and may even become a felon, they become part are convicted of domestic violence were stalking, do you
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have the resources and how do you go back to your database to check someone who has been approved? >> that is the nature of the program. we do have an electronic database that we will cross reference our firearms registry with the database is a prohibited people. so mental health patients, filaments, etc. -- felons, etc. so we update the records every morning we have staff of gold to make sure that there are correlations -- staff who go over it to make sure that there are correlations. a point of perhaps disagreement on whether it is practical to have private sales conducted outside of the dealer and background check process, in california, intra-familial transfers are exempt from the
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background check process. temporary loans within 30 days during the hunting season are also permitted without a background check. one of the obligations for the firearms dealer, as a condition of their license is to conduct a background check. so you have the purchaser and the seller going to the dealer and the present the driver's license. so there is an affirmation of the person's identity. i don't know how you would parallel that security in an online system where there was someone without a license on the line watching the transaction. >> thank you very much. >> we are planning on having a hearing for a least a meeting with the task force with the communitytech because there -- with the tech community because
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there are some ideas on how this can be more readily available. and there people making millions of figuring out how to do this. it runs the spectrum from a different app that would be made available to a pre-check. if your pre-checked, you could come in and swipe your card. if you still qualified, you could buy a firearm and walk out. >> we would be very interested in hearing about that. >> the only works if your nix system is adequate and all persons or corporate income including the states, the local government, the local help folks, and anybody else who has impact upon the records and the information that is needed. >> spoken like the true founder of the nix program, someone who wants to see it work correctly. you're absolutely correct. the point has been made by a number of people today that
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there's a huge gap in moving those records to where they need to be. and it is not just stay-by- state, but jurisdiction-by- jurisdiction. >> 30 states have not put a thing into it. i don't know if california has done it or not or if michigan has done it. but i know the local jurisdictions have not. as is relative to mental health, there's nothing by almost everybody. and when they are submitted, they are almost impossible to use. the result is an increase of applications to buy firearms. the end result of all of that foolishness is that the department of justice or the atf says, well, we don't have anything on as to go ahead and sell it to the guy. that is flipping a coin over whether somebody will get shot or not. >> that is why we will fix it.
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>> amen. [laughter] >> thank you for participating in this hearing. this is such a complex issue. no. 2 were three things we do will fix it. -- no two or three things we do it will fix it. california represents 10% of the population of the country. if the country really wanted to invest in making sure that people who should not have guns, who are prohibited from having guns have their guns taken away from them, it would cost about $600 million. and i think we, we should evaluate if that is something we are willing to spend. this is a picture of the community in my district.
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an ex-felon was selling these guns and ammo to wait 20 year- old. they got a tip off. he probably got these in nevada. it does not work as long as someone who wants a gun can go somewhere else. it's got too many holes. to you, mr. chipman, thank you for your testimony. it was very powerful. it you were an atf agent for how long? >> 24 years. >> what is the track record when it comes to persecuting federal arms licensees caught violating anti-gun trafficking laws? "they're very difficult to enforce.
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it is a standard willfulness verses a standard of knowing. i did not go to law school but it seems to be very problematic when you bring something the court and it's why you have to do these investigations. a this shows the problem of employee theft. in my experience, 50% of the dealers had a criminal problems had a problem with employees theft. there's a lot that the dealers can do to raise their professionalism. >> besides allowing atf to come in and do checks? >> it would be helpful. imagining a pharmacy --
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we can do an inspection once a year and we cannot ever allow that. it's forbidden. >> thte amendment also applies a role that after there is a criminal background check, it has to be destroyed within 24 hours? >> it is a crippling thing to do. they will go to numerous stores down by 19 at a time. it seems to me they would want to know of someone bought 30 identical firearms but we cannot know that. >> that did not used to be the case. how long did you have before the end? >> i do not recall.
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we do need a longer period to time the mouth? >> we had 90 days. we had controls over how long they could search the records. >> why is it that we do not have all states providing their criminal records? >> that sounds like a question for someone else. i don't know why we have not. >> would the gentleman yield? that's a great question. no one has it chosen to appropriate this to take the necessary steps that there should be done. local governments have been even wars. they will not do because they have neither the money nor the
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personnel. >> in california, do you know how much it costs to comply by putting this information into the system? >> i can find out for you. i do not think the issue is with criminal history information being forwarded but it is the firearms registration and mental health and wrecking the -- records prohibiting. >> do you wish to inquire? >> thank you for convening this meeting and thank you for having this tremendously helpful information. i think we understand the urgency responding to this issue since sandy hook. there have been over 1100 who
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have been murdered since then. we have a response to do something about it. thank you for that information and have given us on a variety of choices on improving resources and practices as well as the ban on some assault weapons. in the effort to insure criminals and those who are seriously mentally ill, they do not have access to firearms. universal background check is one way to make sure that does not happen now. there are these loopholes that exist in to make sure they are closed. one is the practice of them dealers -- of gun dealers who
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have had their licenses revoked in their entire inventory is deemed to be a personal collection. there are now free to sell free from the constraints of a background check. did you experience or see any of that when you were at atf? what was the protocol in in place when a licensed gun dealer had their licenses revoked? whether anything to ensure that those guns were not transferred to people? >> we would go to our lawyers and vent frustration that we have worked the case in the next day they would be put on the street. we would do anything within the law to prevent it. oftentimes the law did not support it. nothing could be more
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frustrating than working in a case with an absolute criminal to the guangdong the street that you were trying to bend all along. removing the restraint and sales of the fire arm. >> there are other things just as frustrating. what they would transfer them to the wife and then they would reopen the business the next day. this would happen day in and out with a small minority of dealers who give us problems. >> do you have a recommendation with regards to the federal gun trafficking? in the region not significantly capture them or recreate challenges for cracking down
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while people are engaged in the sale of guns illegally. >> it is reprehensible to buy a gun for someone in no cannot possess it. if we did not make this a camel to child porn, we will not have any success. what i propose is that we at least bring the gun laws up to the standards of the gun law. that would be an incentive for law-enforcement and prosecutors. >> mr. chipman, when you came to our caucus and give your guns or 1 01 class, you had an analogy about the essay and a gun checks at the airport.
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would you mind sharing that? >> for a law-enforcement guy, 9/11 was a dramatic. congress took germanic action. imagine the -- congress took immediate action. imagine 60% getting on the plan would get full security screening and 40 percent got nothing. imagine if 30 states had full security and 20 states had nothing. terrorists would get to those 20 states and then the part -- and then depart.
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>> everyone recognizes this will be a tough go. it's complicated, complex. you push in some place and it bulges somewhere else. we have a group of people that are determined to make some changes to improve the safety of our community. as i said when i began the hearing, protecting our second amendment rights as something we have to do. i want to thank all of you for your interest and participation. thank you to all of the members who stayed late to make sure they could participate in this because they all know how important it is. we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> next, senator dianne feinstein and others talk about the new proposed assault weapons ban. the bill would ban as a
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thick -- ban 150 specific types. this is one hour, 15 minutes. for coming today and i want to welcome you. this is a tough battle, so welcome. i'm pleased to be joined this morning by a cross section of americans who have been affected by gun violence. we have with us today, police chiefs, mayors, teachers, doctors, members of the clergy, mothers, gun safety groups, victims of gun violence and many others who care deeply about this issue. i would really like to thank my colleagues in the senate and the house who have chosen to stand together on this important issue.
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some of us have been working to prevent gun violence for decades. together we're introducing legislation to help in the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities. you will hear from my colleagues in the senate. senator durbin, part of the leadership in the democratic side. senator schumer from new york who helped me in 1993 by headlining, or i should say leading the effort in the house of representatives which was successful. senators blumenthal and chris murphy, distinguished senators
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from connecticut who know first-hand about sexual weapons. you will hear from congresswoman mccarthy from new york. as well as congressman ed perlmutter from colorado who represents aurora. also congresswoman esty who respects newtown. you will hear from commissioner charles ramsey of the philadelphia police department, the current president of the major police chiefs association who will speak about the display of weapons you see to my left. finally, we will hear from victims of recent mass shootings. i would like to recognize supporters who are here today. on the risers behind me we have police officers from several departments and i so thank you for joining us today.
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neighborhood shootings for far too long. enough is enough. everyone in this city seem to live in terror of the gun lobby. i believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby
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especially when we stand together as people of all faiths. i don't want to take away someone's hunting rifle but i can't justify a society that allows people other than military and police to own weapons like these or permits the sale of high-capacity magazines designed with the purpose of killing as many people as quickly as possible. on behalf of all my inner faith colleagues, who i stand here and represent today, i ask that you join me in a brief moment of prayer as we come together around these middle of the road, common sense, legal actions being proposed today. let us pray. oh, god you made human beings in your image and you give us hearts to feel the pain of others and minds to create solutions for human suffering. give us as the people, a compassion and vision, help us to respond to crisis of gun violence with not only words but with action.
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bless our elective leaders with the wisdom and courage needed to bring about the changes that their people demand. grant in so doing our streets and classrooms and our theaters and our churches maybe peaceful and safe. we ask all this in god's holy name. amen. >> thank you very much. like all of you here today, i remain horrified by the mass murder committed at sandy hook elementary in newtown, connecticut. i'm also incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass
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killings to be carried out again and again in our country. weapons designed originally for the military to kill large numbers of people in close combat are replicated for civilian use. they fall into the hands one way or another of killers, of gangs of those who are mentally unstable or ill. they are sold out of trunks and back seats of automobiles in cities. as well a gun shows with no questions asked. massacres have taken place in businesses, law practices, malls, movie theaters and especially schools. these massacres don't seem to
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stop. they continue on. columbine, virginia tech, aurora, tucson, oak creek. the common thread is n these shootings is that each gunman used a semi-automatic assault weapon or large capacity magazines. military-style assault weapons have but one purpose and in my view that is a military purpose to hold at the hip if possible, to kill large numbers. since the last assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and in the 10 years it was in place, no one took it to court. more than 350 people have been killed with assault weapons. more than 450 have been injured.
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we should be outraged by how easy it is for perpetrators of these horrific crimes to obtain powerful military-style weapons. today, my colleagues and i are introducing a bill to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of these feeding devices that can accept more than 10 rounds. let me describe the legislation. we prohibit 158 specifically named military-style firearms. since the 1994 law expired, there has been an influx of new models of assault weapons. these models are more powerful, more lethal and more tech technically advanced they were in 1993. our bill also prohibits other semi-automatic rifles of shotguns and rifles that can accept a detachable magazines. one criticism of the 1994 law was that it was a two characteristic test that defined it and that was too easy to work around. manufactures could remove one of the characteristics and the
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firearm was legal. the bill we're introducing today, will make it much more difficult to work around by moving a one characteristic test. the bill also prevents and prohibits specific loopholes, such as the slide iron stock which can be added to an ar15. which will make it mimic automatic weapons and it is legal. bullet buttons, these are
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modifications can make it easy for manufactures to avoid the law. the bill prohibits semi automatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds. a ban on importation of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. elimination of the 10 year sunset. let me tell you what to be will not do. it will not affect hunting or sporting firearms.
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instead the bill protects hunters and sportsman by protecting 2,200 specifically named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes. they are by make and model exempt from the legislation. when we did this bill in 1993, there was 375. today there are 2,200. it includes grandfathered weapons to a background check. we have tried to learn from the bill. we have tried to recognize legal hunting rights, we have tried to recognize legal defense rights. we have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. no weapon is taken from anyone. the purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time. therefore, there is no sunset on this bill. i would like now to introduce in my view, a wonderful women. she's a leader in the fight. she's a victim of gun violence herself and she is our lead house co-sponsor. the distinguished representative from the great state of new york carolyn mccarthy. [applause] >> thank you very much. you think after all these years
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being in congress and fighting for this issue i wouldn't be nervous standing here in front of all of you. this battle has been a very lonely battle for many, many years. i think a lot of the victims that are out there, a lot of groups that have been fighting for this for so long probably felt that way. but when you look over here and senator feinstein came because of gun violence that she witnessed. senator schumer who took the lead when i wasn't in congress,
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doing all the work he could to get the first assault weapons bill done. senator durbin, my colleague, the mayors, the police chiefs and everybody behind me, all of you. you know, a lot of words can be said and i have a great speech here and my staff worked on it for a long time. but i'm probably going to do what they tell me not to do which is talk from my heart. i met so many victims over the years. in congress, nobody wanted to touch the issue. the last several years the massacres were going on more and more. and going through it, i kept
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saying what is wrong with all of us? how many people have to be killed before we do something? i thought for sure after the virginia tech we would get something done. aurora, but something happened in newtown. people of america said how could this happen? how could this happen to our children? you know when we have been meeting with the n.r.a. over the last few weeks. trying to find how we could work together, it's been frustrating but i still have great hope. but to be honest with you, i'm not going to trust them to be there for the tough votes. that's why all of us and the president, by the way, and the vice president biden, and those of us who are going to be fighting for this, are going to spread the word to the corners
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of this country. n.r.a. members have been speaking out to get something done. these are good law-abiding citizens. they want to hunt. they want to go duck hunting. the guns they use in duck hunting you're allowed three bullets. deer hunting, depending on what state you're in, only allows five bullets. most hunters tell you if you don't get it on the first try you probably won't get it on the second one. yet, we have these machine, we
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have large magazines that can take down 20 children in seconds. the only reason that will slaughter stopped because our first responders were there and the killer ended up taking his life. some people will say this bill won't work. let me tell you why it will work. because if you don't have these gun and the large magazines on the shelves, those who have done these horrific killings wouldn't be able to go into a gun store and buy them. they don't have the background to go and look where the black market is to be able to buy these magazines and guns. they go to the simplest place. if they are not in the stores they can't be bought. think of the lives that could be saved.
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a lot of people in this audience whose families have gone through a killing in their family, losing a child, losing a husband, losing a wife and they were single killings. we must do something to stop that also. this is only the beginning. we are going to be working on a holistic approach. we should be looking at how we can help our young people so they don't go into the world of drugs. we should be helping those children that might be having psychological problems so they don't feel like they have to take a gun to either commit suicide or take down some of their classmates. you're going to hear from some on the opposite side of many of us that it can't be done. i'm telling you it can be done. i'm telling you with all my heart and soul it can be done. but we, as the president had
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said, the people have to make those decisions. newtown made a difference. the killing there made us look into ourselves and say why can't we do something about that? i'm telling you between this battle, between now and when we get this passed you're going to hear from the n.r.a. there's a lot of them saying it is not going to do anything. i'm saying to you we can save lives. think about this, since newtown, just about 1,000 people have died from guns. 1,000 people. those children, their dreams, the dreams of even those that have died through other violence, never to be fulfilled. the day that incident happened i actually was giving an interview.
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it was just a reporter following up on how i do get through the holidays. she said to me, oh my god, do you have the tv on? that was the beginning of my nightmare again. that is for every victim every single time we hear of a killing. it has to stop. it has to stop. we can do it and we can make a difference. we can save thousands and thousands of lives. i would be remiss if i did not say those that have survived those horrific shootings as my son did so many years ago. his life will never be the same. how much it has cost this country on health care to take care of those victims. that is what this country is
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facing. we have to look at each other and say yes, we can do this. we will do the right thing. our police officers will do the right thing. but if the american people don't stand up to the lies that are being said that we can't do anything about gun violence, who loses? the future of our children, they are the ones that lose. we can do this. please, be out there for us. thank you. [applause] >> i just told her thank you, that was super. i would like to introduce the senators who will be speaking and i will introduce them at one time then they will follow one another. senator durbin is part of the democratic leadership. he's been a great champion of the cause over many years. is also a member of the
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judiciary committee to which this bill will go. senator chuck schumer who carried the original assault bill in the house. he knows this issue backwards and forward. connecticut senators, richard blumenthal and chris murphy who have been so diligent in comforting the families of newtown. gentleman, if you would come forward. thank you. >> thank you, senator feinstein. i want to thank you for your commitment to this issue over the years. i want to thank my colleague and friend senator schumer for the same.
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and carolyn mccarthy your words touch our hearts as so many victims who stand and fight for change do. she did more than just speak out, she ran for office to make sure her voice would be heard in the halls of congress. i want to also thank those who are here today, particularly law enforcement. we cannot do this without you. we need to have your validation on what we're seating out today. so many others families, victims, faith community who are stepping up now. this is not an issue of constitution, it is an issue of conscience. we have one basic question that is being asked today, which i hope we can answer, what does it take? what does it take to move a nation? what does it take to move a congress? we know of the thousands of victims of gun violence. we certainly know that not that long ago there was a tragedy in arizona where one of our own at a town meeting was shot point- blank in the face. others were killed in the same
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location. even that incident did not move us to act. what does it take? it took 20 children in newtown, connecticut and six others showing intruder courage risk their lives to -- showing courage to risk their lives. that could be my son, that could be my grandson. it made a difference. it was the tipping point in this national conversation. i will never forget when dick blumenthal and chris murphy came back to tell us first-hand what they saw in newtown, connecticut. dick will mention this in his remark, he talked about standing off to the side with the parents and parents would rush to grab their babies, hug them, knowing they were safe.
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but at the end of the day, there were 20 parents standing alone. that's what it took. the question is, what will we do about it? what can we do about it? we can only do as much as the american people help us do. we need to have their support. their silence can't win this issue. they have to speak out. in the month after newtown, connecticut, where 26 innocent lives were lost to this automatic weapon and a person who never should have owned it, we had 26 killed on the streets of chicago. victims of gun violence. the tragedy continues to repeat itself. when i met the superintendent
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of police in chicago and talked about this he brought with him a piece of evidence, much like you will see here. it was an uzi. the night before that was used on the streets of chicago and thank god it jammed after one round. thank goodness, no one was hurt or killed. that is what this debate is about. let me close by saying there is another group we need in this conversation. we need responsible hunters and sportsman to support us. i grew up in illinois and there are plenty of hunters and sportsman in my family. they value this part of their american tradition. they use their guns safely. they store their guns safely and responsibly.
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they comply with every aspect of a the law. they shake their head when they hear the gun lobby speak for them saying things they don't believe. that you will need a weapon like this to go to hunt or target practice. we need them to step up. we need their voices part of this conversation. for the critics that say there is no law that will stop all of this. that's true. if it can save a life, if it is spare a tragedy, it is worth our support and our effort. [applause] >> thank you and thank you senator durbin for your words. i would like to particularly thank my friend and colleague senator feinstein. she has been amazing in this issue. never forgets it, we have talked about -- probably every month since the ban expired about how we can get it done. the fact that she is leading
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this issue gives us a lot of faith and, of course our respect for you. i would like to say a word about carolyn mccarthy who goes to bed every night thinking about what happened to her families and who lights a candle instead of cursing the darkness. senator feinstein and i have a long history of working. in 1994, we passed the original crime bill that eliminated assault weapons. it made an incredible dent in the violence that was plaguing our country. now times have changed. so have the capabilities to those who would do us harm. i applaud senator feinstein drafting a smart and updated version sophisticate the assault weapons ban. it comes down to this, assault
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weapons were designed for and should be used on our battle fields, not on our streets. and some don't get that. you know we can have a rational discussion about bills like this. the heller decision paves the way. it says there is a second amendment right to bear arms and it should be respected just as the third, fourth, amendments should be. it means that none of us, none of us want to take away the hunting rifle that uncle tom ideal gave you when you were 14 years old. we don't want to do that. we don't want to take away a side arm that a business owner feels they need in a dangerous
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neighborhood. but the decision had a second part written by a conservative court majority. it said there's a reasonable limitation on the second amendment. just as there are reasonable limitations on other amendments. the first amendment we love it, freedom of speech. but you can't falsely scream fire in a theater that limits your first amendment ability to speak freely. we have anti-pornography laws. all of those are limitations that are reasonable. the limitations and supported in senator feinstein are reasonable limitations. we know there is no right to own and operate 100-round clips on assault rifles.
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that is certainly within the framework of the heller decision where hopefully, both sides can meet in the middle. 100-round clips are not used in hunting, they are not used in self defense, they are used to maximize the amount of damage someone can do in this a short amount of time. if you look at a poll, american people understand -- look at the polls american people understand and they understand there should be reasonable limitations on the right to bear arms, to protect our safety. they are wondering why we're not doing anything to protect them. we saw in 1990's even the weakened assault weapons ban that senator feinstein passed helped to save lives. the new and improved bill will
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save many, many more. let's do everything we can to spare the heartache and loss that we've seen in connecticut, colorado, new york. will it be hard? for sure. we o -- owe to our constituents and our country to try. [applause] >> i wanted to join in thanking all of you for being here in this historic occasion, a signature moment in this profoundly significant effort to achieve an end to gun violence in our country. i want to thank senator feinstein for her steadfast
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efforts as well as my senate colleagues. leaders of connecticut, state legislators in connecticut, and our governor, who have formed a powerful team in an effort to reduce gun violence and keep faith with the people of newtown. i would like to thank law- enforcement community here today. for several decades, as a federal prosecutor involved in law enforcement, i have listened to our police, prosecutors, law enforcement community. i have listened to them in numerous tragedies and they have said to me, do something about the guns. ban the assault weapons and
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prohibit the high-capacity magazines. a number of the police said to me, we could not have stopped that shooter. even with the body armor, with that kind of assault weapon shooting at us. law-enforcement community is outgunned by criminals and mentally ill people and domestic abusers who have assault weapons and should be separated from those weapons and from all weapons. i am listening to people of newtown. i was there the afternoon that parents arrived at the sandy hook fire house. i came there as a public
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official, but what i saw was through the eyes of a parent. i will never forget to the sights and sounds of that day i spent emerged from that fire house learning that their five and six-year-old children would not be coming home that night. swat team members who came from a schoolhouse hit in their hearts by the brutality and cruelty they saw. i am listening to people who have said to me, we have to do something about the guns. we need to keep faith with them. this measure would have helped prevent the tragedy. but for assault weapons like the once banned by this
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measure, hundreds and thousands of americans would be alive today. but for the high-capacity magazines that would be banned in their sales by this measure. americans and children and educators in newtown might well be alive today. this measure would ban these kinds of weapons that have been so destructive and so brutal in creating violence. this measure is more stringent than connecticut's ban and a would have prohibited the type of weapon used at newtown. it has to be seen as one step, part of a comprehensive strategy that also should include mental health initiatives, school security, and yes, background checks before all fire arms sales.
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gun shows, private sales, and background checks for all sales of ammunition. right now, a fugitive, a felon, a domestic abusers can walk into a store by a shopping mart -- no questions asked. we need to change that. newtown is a call to action and a call for real reform. my hope is that we will seize this moment with a sense of urgency and passion and sustain this momentum over the hard fight -- make no mistake, it will be a hard fight ahead. always remember newtown and keep faith with its victims. thank you.
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[applause] >> thank you very much. thank you for leading this effort. to all of my colleagues, new and old, law enforcement, families. we were there that day and as a father of a four-year-old and a one-year-old, there are a lot of moments i wish i could take back what i saw. trying to understand what happened, make no mistake, the trauma is not abating. it is multiplying. in the tiny town like that when you take away the lives of 20
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kids and six adults, many of which lived in tiny little neighborhoods, the brief continues. let me tell you what is happening today. sandy hook elementary school has moved. a lot of the teachers have not come back. a lot of the students have not returned. in each one of those classrooms, there is a safe word. in one third grade classroom, it is monkey. in a couple of times every day, a kid yells out that safe word when he gets into a conversation that he does not want to be a part of. that is what has happened today. that is what happens in communities that deal with one of these atrocities.
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it is not just the families who grieve. kids would be alive today if the law we are proposing today were in place on december 14 of last year. it is as simple as that. we know that because the data tells us, despite what the gun lobby will say, the first assault weapons ban worked. within nine years, there was a two-thirds drop in crimes committed with assault weapons. there was an overall drop in gun violence across the country by 7%. 40% of the mass shootings, 40% in the history has happened since that assault weapons expired.
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more kids would be alive today if this law was on the books because we know what the numbers tell us but we also know what happened that day. we know most of these incidents and when the shooter has to reload. the gun jams. or people are allowed to intervene. to get off 100 rounds in 10 minutes, adam lanza had to reload twice. things would have been different if that was nine or 10 or 11. second, there is a question as to whether he would have even driven at his mother's car in the first place. it gave him a false sense of courage of what he did do that day. if this law was in place, there would be little girls and boys alive today. the gun lobby has said over and
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over again that this is a feel- good piece of legislation. they're right about that. it would feel really good if alison and charlotte and daniel and olivia and josephine had got to enjoy christmas with their parents. it would feel good if kathrin and chase and jesse and james took the bus to school this morning. it would feel good if jack and caroline and jessica and ben were alive today. it would feel really good if parents across this country did not have to wake up every morning worrying without action, their kids were at risk, just like those kids. this is going to be hard. this is going to be difficult. to honor those 20 lives, we're
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going to get it done. thank you very much. [applause] >> i am so proud of the courage of my fellow legislators. would you give them a big round of applause, please? [applause] carolyn mccarthy, i think, gave such a poignant speech. her co-sponsors are going to say a few words. he represents aurora, colorado. hopefully, he will tell you a little bit about it. and then the house member who represents the brave town of newtown.
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>> good morning. i lived in the suburbs of denver, colorado. on one side of my district is columbine high school. on the other side of my district is aurora, colorado. these events, these mass killings, the fact not just the people killed or wounded or the hundred traumatized by war in that theater that night, but whole communities. i know we have family members from tucson, a virginia tech, newtown here today. i want to read something that was sent to last yesterday's by some of the families of the aurora for victims.
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"our loved ones were murdered in the aurora, colorado, theatre on july 20. in one of the worst massacres in u.s. history by the exact weapons and high-capacity magazines that senator feinstein is addressing in her proposed legislation today. our loved ones were gunned down in an entire generation of our families take away in a matter of seconds. we listened to the 9/11 tapes played in courts and sad in agony as we heard of 30 shots fired within 27 seconds wondering if one of those bullets killed our children. an ar15 was used in that massacre. in 2012, this nation's of 15 mass shootings innocent and law-abiding people are dying by
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nearly every day. we should not be a country whose firefighters to have to wear bulletproof vests to do their jobs. what have we become a as a nation when our family and friends are losing their lives just being at school, watching a movie, going to church, shopping for groceries, buying christmas gifts? our everyday freedoms are being taken away by packs of gun violence. thank you for working to stop this epidemic of violence. i end with a quote by martin luther king. our lives begin to end the day we remain silent on things that matter -- our future, our lives, our children matter." this letter is signed by
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families of seven of the people killed in aurora. this is a tough issue for all of us. there are constitutional implications for all of this. our responsibility as representatives and senate stores are to be advocates for the people we represent. we do not want to trample on second amendment rights. we believe that those rights exist to self-defense, hunting, sporting, but we have to do something about these mass killings. it is our responsibility. thank you for bringing it forward. thank you. [applause]
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>> good morning. i represented connecticut's fifth district. as a new member of congress who got started as a pta mom, a first grade room parent, this was an unbelievably difficult situation to walk into. i want to talk about the cost of inaction. rob is a volunteer firefighter. many generations in the small community of sandy hook. his wife, they have two children and the sandy hook school. he received a call that morning from his wife who had gone to the school to take some medication to their son. he got a call saying, there is a man coming towards me with a gun, i love you. and hung up the phone. that is what the people in
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connecticut are dealing with now. grace mcdonald's parents came to the white house last week. they gave a painting by their daughter. i know my friends and senators joined me in this unbelievably sad parade of funerals for six and seven-year-olds. eight of the girls were in the same girl scout troops. five of the boys were in the same boy scout troop. every graduation, every eagle scout ceremony, those families, and all of their friends, will be grieving. the pain is not over. what i have heard again and again when i have met with families and members of the community, and what i have heard in the letters and phone calls and e-mails from around the state and around america,
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we must take meaningful action to save lives. what happened in newtown on december 14 was an unspeakable tragedy. what happens now that is up to us. newtown must be a call to action before congress and for all americans who believe and who know that we can respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and at the same time, we can save lives. newtown has paid and is paying the price of inaction. because communities across this country and my sad, but growing community of congress, paying the price of political and
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action, because we can no longer -- inaction, because we can no longer sit by and let the loss of precious schoolchildren and courageous educators go unanswered. we cannot allow the loss of countless brothers and sisters and parents who were cut down every day by gun violence. it is time to act. it is time to renew and strengthen the assault weapons ban and that time is now. i am so proud to join congresswoman mccarthy, and helping to introduce this important legislation in the house of representatives. i want to thank my friends and colleagues, the senators from connecticut. and enormously to senator feinstein, schumer, and durban for their leadership. it is not just our battle.
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it is america's battle. what does it take? what does it take for us as a nation to act? i hope, i pray, and i believe that this is our wake-up call. it is our call as americans to act and to act now to save lives. thank you. [applause] >> i would like to introduce into great public servants. -- two great public servants. i have been privileged to be a mayor and to be part of the united states conference of mayors for nine years.
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the great mayor of the city of philadelphia is here. he is the chairman of the united states conference of mayors, which has endorsed this legislation. i will be calling upon him in a moment. we also have the philadelphia police commissioner, charles ramsey, who was president of the -- who is president of the major cities chiefs' association that also endorses this legislation. i would like to call on both of these distinguished gentlemen to come forward. >> good afternoon. thank you, senator feinstein, and members of the house and members of the senate here with us. i am honored that my own congressmen from philadelphia has joined us as well.
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again, again, and again, americans have been stunned by senseless violence involving assault weapons and large capacity magazines. columbine, april 1999, 13 murdered. virginia tech, able 2007, 32 -- april 2007, 32 murdered. tucson, january 2011, six murdered, 12 wounded, including gabrielle giffords. aurora, july 2012, it 12 murdered. on december 14th, 2012, tragedy struck again, killing 20 children and 6 educators in newtown, connecticut. an act that still remains incomprehensible to all of us.
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mayors have expressed shock at mass shootings, even more frequently, many of us must cope with gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities today after day after day after day. weapons of mass destruction are destroyed and their communities, -- destroying our communities, our streets, and families. i was sworn in in january of 2008 to my first term. on may 3, 2008, philadelphia police officer was killed with an ak-47. tell his wife michelle and their children why any civilian needs one of those weapons to be out on the streets of our cities. tell any mother or father or sister or brother or niece or nephew why their family member
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is no longer with us because of those kinds of weapons. handguns with high-capacity magazines. why does anyone need one of those? this death and destruction must end right now. every day in america, 282 people are shots, 86 of them die, and 32 of them are murdered. every day, 50 children are shots, eight of them died, including five who are murdered. this must stop. the legislation would senator -- that senator feinstein and others will help end the insanity. i am here to register the strong support of the u.s. conference of mayors for the assault weapons ban of 2013.
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we commend as an organization -- commit as an organization hundreds of mayors all across america, small, medium, large cities, we are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure this legislation becomes law. i have available for you today a letter originally stamped three -- sent three days after the newtown tragedy occurred in the house signed by 210 mayors which calls on the president and congress to take immediate action to make reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations. listed first in that letter was our recommendation for the enactment of legislation to ban assault weapons and high- capacity magazines that has now been presented by senator dianne feinstein and others. when she discussed this bill and her commitment to passing it, senator feinstein described
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herself as "a former mayor on a mission." senator feinstein, you have an array of current mayors on a mission standing with you ready to do what ever is necessary to make sure this bill becomes law. let's move forward. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, senator feinstein. your colleagues in both the senate and the house of representatives members here today in support of this legislation. i am speaking on behalf of the major city chiefs association. the major city chiefs is an organization made up of the 63
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largest cities in the united states. i have the honor of serving as president of the organization. i also served as president as -- of the police executive research forum. we stand solidly behind this legislation. on my way down here, i was on the train and i received a call from bart johnson, the largest of all the police organizations. unfortunately, they could not be here today. they wanted me to pass on to you their full support for this legislation. i also see colleagues in the audience, members of both the major city chiefs as well as the national organization of black law enforcement executives, a baltimore county, the chair of the national prevention for gun violence, thank you for being here as well.
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i am also here to speak for myself. i have been and law enforcement for more than 40 years. as a member of the chicago police department, i spent 30 years in that department. i spent nine years as police chief in washington, d.c., and for the last five years, i'd been police commissioner in philadelphia. i have seen a lot of violence over that period of time. nothing compared to the devastation caused by assault weapons. i was doing an interview not too long ago, one of our local news stations, we had a homicide in philadelphia. it was day gruesome scene with -- particularly gruesome scene, with multiple shell casings. when was the last time he went to a crime scene where he only saw one shell casings on the ground? and he could not remember. and i can remember.
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-- can't remember. i do not think people really understand firepower that is out there on the street. our offices have to face every day and citizens have to face every day. to my left is a display of weapons. i do not claim to be an expert. i am an expert in terms of understanding the carnage that they cause on the streets of our city. four of those weapons i want to single out because they were what examples of the kinds of actual weapons they were used. the military style assault weapon was used in the newtown massacre. that is in the center of the middle panel. the 33 round extended magazine, the one used in tucson, arizona, where congressman
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giffords was shot and six people were murdered. smith and wesson -- the assault rifle used in aurora, colorado, when 12 people were shot dead. that is on your left at the very top. this assault pistol used in a san francisco shooting in which eight people were dead. one of the more commonly sees to -- seized firearms off the streets of our various cities. time for us to do something, folks. this is legislation that is needed. it is not the only thing that is needed. we have to go beyond an assault weapons ban. our streets are hemorrhaging out there and we have a responsibility to do something. we have been to this before. -- through this before.
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there's an awful lot of conversation around gun violence. every time you have a massacre like newtown, columbine, you name it, the list goes on and on. after about two or three weeks, it starts to quiet down a little bit. and it is business as usual and the lobbyists began to quietly go about trying to influence the outcome of any legislation. 20 children slaughtered at one time in a schoolhouse in the town many of us never even heard of until this happened. a town that you would not expect something like this to take place. if is the slaughter of 20 babies does not capture and hold your attention, then i give up because i do not know what else will. we have to pass legislation. we cannot allow the legislation
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to get so watered down and filled with loopholes that it is meaningless. this is the start, folks. look at this. tell me why any of this needs to be on the streets of our cities. if you can tell me that, i will listen to you. i do not think any of you can. there is absolutely no reason. they were not meant to be in philadelphia, aurora, colorado, san francisco. they were not made for that. how're you going to go hunting with something like that? you kill something with it, there is nothing left to eat. we listened to all of these arguments. i have been in this business for more than 40 years and i can tell you, you do not know what you prevent. we deal with what we did not prevent for the most part. i also believe that we make a difference. the laws we have on the books in this country make a difference.
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if something is simple as a safety lock had been on that weapon used in newtown, we probably would not be here today. the shooter would not have that access to that firearm. we cannot even get simple legislation passed to report guns lost or stolen, c'mon. we're not trying to seize everybody's guns, but we need reasonable gun control in this country. or guess what -- it will happen again. [applause] thank you. thank you for being here. this is just the start. we have to remain vigilant and we have to pay attention to what is going not. the organizations i represent, we will do anything we can to help you see this through.
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thank you. [applause] >> because we are in the halls of congress, it is easy to forget the very real human face of gun violence. we have asked a few victims to come forward and they will introduce themselves. they will tell you what happened to them very briefly. i hope you will go away seeing how human an issue this is. how america really need to stand up and in it. -- needs to stand up and end it. would you all please come forward? here -- sorry.
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>> hello. on the morning of april 16, 2007, i received a phone call from my daughter. she said, mommy, i have been shot. we learned that the shooter's weapon was equipped with a high- capacity magazine. and was able to do great, great carnage that day. our family fully supports the assault weapons ban of 2013. thank you. [applause] >> my name is pam simon. standing with me as my husband. i was on the staff of gabrielle giffords. on the morning of january 8, 2011, i was standing a few feet from the congresswomen when i was shot in the chest and the arm.
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on that day, 30 bullets were delivered in less than 30 seconds. killing six, including my staff member and dear friend and wounding 13 others, including one of your own. congresswoman gabrielle giffords. we fully support this legislation. thank you so much. [applause] >> i was one of the survivors in the shooting at a virginia tech in 2007. i was shot above my left knee. i was shot in both of my hips and through my right shoulder. i carry three of those four bullets with me for the rest of my life. i am here on behalf of the 32 who did not make it that day.
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>> my sister followed me to virginia tech just after i graduated. she was an 18-year-old freshman, 4.0 student. had her life ahead of her. over 50 people were killed in a matter of minutes in virginia tech that morning. the gunmen had a 30 round magazine clips. multiple of them that he was able to purchase over the internet. it devastated my family, we support this legislation. we know many other americans who have been through this supported as well. thank you, the senators and representatives. [applause] >> i was a survivor -- sorry. thank you. i was injured at virginia tech.
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i have a bullet -- i was shot in my jaw. it is still there. i was shot in my wrist. i suffered so much pain. i am still undergoing medical process. it will be long term care. my family has suffered, it just like the other families have suffered. sandy hook is a wake-up call and we need to support sensible legislation on gun safety. thank you, senator feinstein. thank you for all of you for being strong leaders. [applause]
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>> my father was a professor and taught engineering at virginia tech. he was killed on the morning -- my father was killed on the morning of april 16, 2007. i did not know that the shootings were going on until noon because i was in class. my mother had the unfortunate task of telling both me and my 13-year-old sister that we did not have a father. he would not be coming home. i will not be telling you about these high-capacity magazine rounds, because everyone else has. i cannot tell you or describe the amount of pain and suffering that not only my family or friends have experienced, but the community of blacksburg, our fellow survivors.
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i cannot begin to describe how important this legislation is and how much your support would mean in general. thank you. [applause] >> i am here on behalf of my father. he was killed last september in a workplace shooting in minneapolis along with five other dads. my family supports the legislation to ensure that these kinds of tragedies do not happen and so they do not have to get the call that their father or mother or brother or sister or a child's will not be coming home that night. i want to thank you for your leadership. [applause] >> this is a picture of me and my mother that i gave my mom by sophomore year of high school.
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my parents were returning a boat in california may 30, 2005. a man with a history of violence and easy access to weapons shot my dad three times and shot and killed my mother. i cannot express the importance of this and other legislation and i cannot express enough thanks to all of you for everything that you do. [applause] >> this afternoon, in the senate, i will be introducing this bill. carolyn mccarthy will introduce it in the house. ladies and gentlemen, we have done our best to craft a responsible bill to ban these
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assault weapons. guns designed for military use all over this country and often used for mass murder. this is really an uphill road. if anyone asked today, can you win this? the answer is, we do not know. there is one great hope out there and that is you. you are stronger than the gun lobby. you are stronger than the gun manufacturers. only if you stand up, if america rises up, if people care enough to call every member of the house and senate and say, we have had enough. these weapons do not belong on the streets of our towns and cities, our schools, workplaces, movie theaters. enough is enough.
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we can win this. it depends on america and it depends on the courage of america. thank you so much for being here. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> vice-president joe biden and members of president obama's cabinet met with gun safety experts friday to talk about the administration's efforts to reduce gun violence. >> there seem to be a pretty broad consensus.
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one of the things the governor did when he was here, he wanted to make sure that those who under the law are able to be constitutionally denied access to weapons, like someone who is adjudicated not capable, whether because of mental capacity, and/or convicted felon, someone who has been guilty of domestic violence, under the law, but they're not allowed a weapon. they're able to be denied ownership of a weapon. one of the problems pointed out here is that there was an adjudication. the young man who committed the crime at virginia tech, yet he was able to go out and purchase two weapons about a month apart. we talked about the notion of universal background check, the notion of making sure that
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states equip, and and all the board of the persons are on file -- prohibited persons are on file so that when you go to buy a weapon, you essentially swipe your card, they swipe it for you. if the final your part of the prohibited class of people -- and they find out if you are part of the province a class of people. -- prohibited class of pe ople. we have one psychiatrist year, two others to have done great studies on behavioral attitudes of those who commit violent crimes. we talk about the need to expand mental health capacity across the country. we talk about access. we talked about resources.
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it was pointed out that we have a woefully inadequate number of trained professionals overall in the country. and the need for us to do that. secretary sebelius spoke to some of the recommendations we made to the president, relative to mental health, mental health clarity, the affordable care act -- parity, the affordable care act. there was general consensus that that is all moving in the right direction. we also talked about not just a mass shooting, but gun violence in the united states. the rock and 1200 murders -- there have been told hundred murders just since what happened s just since0 murderes what happened up in newtown.
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we talked about how we deal with the problem overall in our cities and counties, our communities. there is some value to having additional law enforcement officers available in these cities and states. and that is why the president has proposed to add another 15,000 folks through the cops program. we also talked about the issue of gun safety, when are we able to, under the law, a train people how to better husband a weapon and care for it so it does not get in the wrong hands. we talk about gun trafficking. -- talked about gun trafficking. a lot of the crime is a
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consequence -- when the gun is recovered, it is usually a stolen or illegal weapons. we talked about the need for gun trafficking legislation. most of the focus was on, what are the recommendations from these professionals about how we can detect earlier than later those folks who would have the propensity to engage in the kinds of activities that we saw at virginia tech and we saw at columbine. before that, we saw at aurora, and connecticut. thehat four-o'clock 30, senate will begin debate on disaster aid -- at 4:30, the senate will begin debate on disaster aid for hurricane
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sandy. on thursday, defense secretary nominee chuck hagel will testify before the senate armed services committee. >> now california governor jerry brown delivers the annual state of the state address from sacramento, california. this is about 25 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] thank you. thank you fellow constitutional officers, and all my friends gathered here this morning. the message this year is clear -- california has once again confounded our critics.
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we have wrought in just two years a solid and enduring budget. and, by god, we will persevere and keep it that way for years to come. [applause] let's not appluad toaud too muc. this is my longest speech. [laughter] against those who take pleasure, singing of our demise, california did the impossible. you, the california legislature, did it. you cast difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget. you curbed prison spending through an historic realignment and you reformed and reduced the state's long term pension liabilities. then, the citizens of
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california, using their inherent political power under the constitution, finished the task. they embraced the new taxes of proposition 30 by a healthy margin of 55% to 44%. [applause] members of the legislature, i salute you for your courage, for wholeheartedly throwing yourself into the cause. i salute the unions -- their members and their leaders. you showed what ordinary people can do when they are united and organized. i salute those leaders of california business and the individual citizens who proudly stood with us. i salute the teachers and the students, the parents and the college presidents, the whole school community. as the great jurist, oliver wendell holmes, once said when describing what stirs people to
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action -- "feeling begets feeling and great feeling begets great feeling." you were alarmed, you stirred yourselves to action and victory was the outcome. that was 2012 and what a year! in fact, both 2011 and 2012 were remarkable. you did great things -- your 1/3 renewable energy mandate -- the reform of workers compensation -- the reorganization of state government -- protecting our forests and strengthening our timber industry -- reforming our welfare system -- and launching the nation's first high speed rail system. but, of course, governing never ends. we have promises to keep. and the most important is the one we made to the voters if proposition 30 passed -- that we would guard jealously the money temporarily made available. this means living within our means and not spending what we do not have. fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our good intentions
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but the basis for realizing them. it is cruel to lead people on by expanding good programs, only to cut them back when the funding disappears. that is not progress -- it is not even progressive. it is illusion. that stop and go, boom and bust, serves no one. we are not going back there. the budget is balanced but great risks and uncertainties lie ahead. the federal government, the courts or changes in the economy all could cost us billions and drive a hole in the budget. the ultimate costs of expanding our health care system under the affordable care act are unknown. ignoring such known unknowns would be folly, just as it would be to not pay down our wall of debt. that is how we plunged into a decade of deficits. recall the story of genesis and pharaoh's dream of seven cows, fatfleshed and well favored,
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which came out of the river, followed by seven other cows leanfleshed and ill favored. then the lean cows ate up the fat cows. the pharaoh could not interpret his dream until joseph explained to him that the seven fat cows were seven years of great plenty and the seven lean cows were seven years of famine that would immediately follow. the pharaoh took the advice of joseph and stored up great quantities of grain during the years of plenty. when famine came, egypt was ready. the people have given us seven years of extra taxes. let us follow the wisdom of joseph, pay down our debts and store up reserves against the leaner times that will surely come. in the midst of the great depression, franklin roosevelt said -- "there is a mysterious cycle in human events. to some generations much is given. of other generations much is expected. this generation has a rendezvous
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with destiny." we -- right here in california -- have such a rendezvous with destiny. all around us we see doubt and skepticism about our future and that of america's. but what we have accomplished together these last two years, indeed, the whole history of california, belies such pessimism. remember how california began. in 1769, under king charles iii, orders were issued to jose de galvez, the visitor general of baja california, to -- "occupy and fortify san diego and monterey for god and the king of spain. gaspar portola and a small band of brave men made their way slowly north, along an uncharted path. eventually, they reached monterey but they could not recognize the bay in the dense fog. with their supplies failing, they marched back to san diego,
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forced to eat the flesh of emaciated pack mules just to stay alive. undaunted, portola sent for provisions from baja california and promptly organized a second expedition. he retraced his steps northward, along what was to become el camino real, the kings highway. this time, father serra joined the expedition by sea. the rest is history, a spectacular history of bold pioneers meeting every failure with even greater success. the founding of the missions, secularized and sold off in little more than 50 years, the displacement and devastation of the native people, the discovery of gold, the coming of the forty-niners and adventurers from every continent, first by the thousands and then by the hundreds of thousands. then during the civil war under president lincoln came the transcontinental railroad and land grant colleges, followed by the founding of the university of california.
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and oil production, movies, an aircraft industry, the longest suspension bridge in the world, aerospace, the first freeways, grand water projects, jet propulsion laboratory, venture capital, silicon valley, hewlett packard, apple, qualcomm, google and countless others, existing and still just imagined. what is this but the most diverse, creative and longest standing mass migration in the history of the world. that is california. and we are her sons and daughters. this special destiny never ends. it slows. it falters. it goes off track in ignorance and prejudice but soon resumes again -- more vibrant and more stunning in its boldness. the rest of the country looks to california. not for what is conventional, but for what is necessary -- necessary to keep faith with our courageous forebears.
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what we have done together and what we must do in the coming years is big, but it pales in comparison to the indomitable courage of those who discovered and each decade thereafter built a more abundant california. as legislators, it is your duty and privilege to pass laws. but what we need to do for our future will require more than producing hundreds of new laws each year. montaigne, the great french writer of the 16th century, in his essay on experience, wisely wrote -- "there is little relation between our actions, which are in perpetual mutation, and fixed and immutable laws. the most desirable laws are those that are the rarest, simplest, and most general -- and i even think that it would be better to have none at all than to have them in such numbers as we have."
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constantly expanding the coercive power of government by adding each year so many minute prescriptions to our already detailed and turgid legal system overshadows other aspects of public service. individual creativity and direct leadership must also play a part. we do this, not by commanding thou shalt or thou shalt not through a new law but by tapping into the persuasive power that can inspire and organize people. lay the ten commandments next to the california education code and you will see how far we have diverged in approach and in content from that which forms the basis of our legal system. [laughter] in the right order of things, education -- the early fashioning of character and the formation of conscience -- comes before legislation. nothing is more determinative
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of our future than how we teach our children. if we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify. in california's public schools, there are six million students, 300,000 teachers -- all subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations. in addition to the teacher in the classroom, we have a principal in every school, a superintendent and governing board for each school district. then we have the state superintendent and the state board of education, which makes rules and approves endless waivers -- often of laws which you just passed. then there is the congress which passes laws like "no child left behind," and finally the federal department of education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in america, where sixty million children study, not six million. add to this the fact that three
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million california school age children speak a language at home other than english and more than two million children live in poverty. and we have a funding system that is overly complex, bureaucratically driven and deeply inequitable. that is the state of affairs today. the laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. all the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child. we seem to think that education is a thing -- like a vaccine -- that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. but as the irish poet, william
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butler yeats said, "education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." [applause] this year, as you consider new education laws, i ask you to consider the principle of subsidiarity. subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. in other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students. subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. i would prefer to trust our
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teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work lighting fires in young minds. [applause] my 2013 budget summary lays out the case for cutting categorical programs and putting maximum authority and discretion back at the local level -- with school boards. i am asking you to approve a brand new local control funding formula which would distribute supplemental funds -- over an extended period of time -- to school districts based on the real world problems they face. this formula recognizes the fact that a child in a family making $20,000 a year or speaking a language different from english or living in a foster home requires more help. equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice. [applause]
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with respect to higher education, cost pressures are relentless and many students cannot get the classes they need. a half million fewer students this year enrolled in the community colleges than in 2008. graduation in four years is the exception and transition from one segment to the other is difficult. the university of california, the cal state system and the community colleges are all working on this. the key here is thoughtful change, working with the faculty and the college presidents. but tuition increases are not the answer. i will not let the students become the default financiers of our colleges and universities. [applause]
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california was the first in the nation to pass laws to implement president obama's historic affordable care act. our health benefit exchange, called covered california, will begin next year providing insurance to nearly one million californians. over the rest of this decade, california will steadily reduce the number of the uninsured. today i am calling for a special session to deal with those issues that must be decided quickly if california is to get the affordable care act started by next january. the broader expansion of medi- cal that the act calls for is incredibly complex and will take more time. working out the right relationship with the counties will test our ingenuity and will not be achieved overnight. given the costs involved, great prudence should guide every step of the way.
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california lost 1.3 million jobs in the great recession but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average. the new office of business and economic development -- gobiz -- directly assisted more than 5,000 companies this past year. one of those companies was samsung semiconductor inc. headquartered in korea. working with the city of san jose and santa clara county, gobiz persuaded samsung to locate their only research and development facility in the world here in california. the new facility in san jose will place at least 2,500 people in high skill, high wage jobs. we also leveled the field on internet sales taxes, paving the way for over 1,000 new jobs at new amazon distribution centers in patterson and san bernardino and now tracy. this year, we should change both the enterprise zone program
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and the jobs hiring credit. they aren't working. we also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the california environmental quality act. our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays. [applause] california's exports are booming and our place in the world economy has never been stronger. our ties with the people's republic of china in particular are deep -- from the chinese immigrants crossing the pacific in 1848 to hosting china's next president in los angeles last february. this year we will take another step to strengthen the ties between the world's second and ninth largest economies. in april, i will lead a trade and investment mission to china with help from the bay area council and officially open
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california's new trade and investment office in shanghai. central to the life of our state is water and one sixth of that water flows through the san joaquin delta. silicon valley, the livermore valley, farmers on the east side of the san joaquin valley between fresno and kern county and farmers on the west side between tracy and los banos, urban southern california and northern contra costa, all are critically dependent on the delta for water. if because of an earthquake, a hundred year storm or sea level rise, the delta fails, the disaster would be comparable to hurricane katrina or superstorm sandy -- losses of at least $100 billion and 40,000 jobs. i am going to do whatever i can to make sure that does not
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happen. my proposed plan is two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. yes, that is big but so is the problem. the london olympics lasted a short while and cost $14 billion, about the same cost as this project. but this project will serve california for hundreds of years. when we think about california's future, no long term liability presents as great a danger to our wellbeing as the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. according to the latest report from the world bank, carbon dioxide emissions are the highest in 15 million years. at today's emissions rate, the planet could warm by more than 7 degrees fahrenheit by the end of the century, an event unknown in human experience.
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some of you will be around fo r that. i won't. [laughter] california is extremely vulnerable because of our mediterranean climate, long coastline and reliance on snowpack for so much of our water supply. tipping points can be reached before we even know we have passed them. this is a different kind of challenge than we ever faced. it requires acting now even though the worst consequences are perhaps decades in the future. again california is leading the way. we are reducing emissions as required by ab 32 and we will meet our goal of getting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. [applause] key to our efforts is reducing electricity consumption through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. over the last three decades, these pioneering efforts have saved californians $65 billion dollars. and we are not through yet.
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we are also meeting our renewable energy goals -- more than 20% renewable energy this year. by 2020, we will get at least a third of our electricity from the sun and the wind and other renewable sources -- and probably more. transportation and high speed rail in the years following world war ii, california embarked on a vast program to build highway, bridges and roads. today, california's highways are asked to accommodate more vehicle traffic than any other state in the nation. most were constructed before we knew about climate change and the lethal effects of dirty air. we now expect more. i have directed our transportation agency to review
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thoroughly our current priorities and explore long-term funding options. last year, you authorized another big project -- high speed rail. yes, it is bold but so is everything else about california. electrified trains are part of the future. china already has 5000 miles of high speed rail and intends to double that. spain has 1600 miles and is building more. more than a dozen other countries have their own successful high speed rail systems. even morocco is building one. the first phase will get us from madera to bakersfield. then we will take it through the tehachapi mountains to palmdale, constructing 30 miles of tunnels and bridges. the first rail line through those mountains was built in 1874 and its top speed over the crest is still 24 miles an hour. then we will build another 33 miles of tunnels and bridges before we get the train to its destination at union station in the heart of los angeles.
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we all know the story of the little engine that could. [laughter] the big engines were asked to pull all the freight trains over the mountain. they said, can't do it. they asked another, can't do it. the little trains said, i think i can. the engine started puffing away. "i think i can, i think i can, i think i can." [laughter] and over the mountain the little engine went. we will get over that mountain. [applause] it has taken great perseverance to get us this far. i signed the original high speed rail authority in 1982 -- over 30 years ago. in 2013, we will finally break ground and start construction.
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this is my 11th year in the job and i have never been more excited. two years ago, they were writing our obituary. well, it did not happen. california is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move. let's get it done. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> jay nixon delivers his state of the state address. >> what is the best training for
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a policeman? >> the best training you can get, you learn how to develop sources, how to use intelligence information. you learn how to leverage relationships in the community. people in the community trust you. i have really learned the most in my career from those relationships. >> the gun was police chief in washington, d.c. history, more with -- youngest police chief in washington, d.c. history, cathy lanier. >>


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